Why Did Caesar Cross the Rubicon?

Julius Caesar is among the most popular figures in ancient Roman history. His choice to cross the Rubicon River in 49 BC is among the most noteworthy in history and has actually been viewed as a significant juncture in Rome’s history. Why did Caesar cross the Rubicon? It’s a concern that has actually been requested centuries and one that still amazes historians today.

What is the Rubicon?

The Rubicon is a little river situated in northern Italy, near the city of Rome. It had actually been a crucial border line because the days of the Roman Republic; it marked the border in between Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy to the south. Roman law prohibited any Roman basic from crossing the Rubicon with an army, as it was viewed as a justification of war. The expression “crossing the Rubicon” has actually because ended up being a metaphor for taking an irreversible action.

Caesar’s Position in Rome

At the time of Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon, he remained in a challenging position. He had actually been selected as the guv of Gaul, and had actually achieved success in his projects there, however was likewise dealing with increasing opposition from the Roman Senate. The Senate had actually grown distrustful of Caesar and his growing appeal with individuals, and had actually started to take actions to restrict his power.

The Roman Senate’s Reaction

In 49 BC, the Senate passed a decree that Caesar should dissolve his army and go back to Rome. Caesar remained in a tough position; if he went back to Rome without an army, he would be susceptible to his opponents and would likely be detained and carried out. If he selected to remain in Gaul with his army, it would be seen as an act of defiance versus the Senate.

The Optimates

The Optimates were an effective faction in the Roman Senate who were highly opposed to Caesar and his reforms. They were led by the popular orator Cicero and had the assistance of the Senate and individuals of Rome. The Optimates had actually been working to restrict Caesar’s power and saw his army as a danger to the Senate’s authority.

Caesar’s Decision

Confronted with the predicament of either going back to Rome helpless or remaining in Gaul and running the risk of a civil war, Caesar chose to cross the Rubicon with his army. He understood that this was an irreversible choice which it might indicate completion of his profession, however he likewise understood that it was the only method to conserve himself and secure his power. He notoriously stated “The die is cast”, and crossed the Rubicon with his army.

The Consequences of Caesar’s Decision

Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon had instant repercussions. The Optimates were annoyed and stated that Caesar was a traitor which a civil war had actually started. The Senate purchased their forces to march versus Caesar, and a bloody civil war occurred. Caesar ultimately emerged triumphant and the Optimates were beat.

The Impact of Caesar’s Decision

Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon had an enduring effect on the Roman world. It marked completion of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire. Caesar was stated totalitarian of Rome and his reforms introduced a brand-new period of Roman power and impact that would last for centuries.

The Legacy of Caesar’s Decision

The tradition of Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon has actually sustained for centuries. It has actually been utilized as a metaphor for taking a strong action and has actually influenced numerous other leaders to take dangers and make hard choices. It is a pointer that in some cases taking threats and making strong options can settle in the end.


Julius Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon in 49 BC was among the most essential in ancient Roman history. It marked completion of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire and has actually considering that been viewed as a metaphor for taking a strong and irreversible action. Caesar’s choice to cross the Rubicon has actually had an enduring effect on history, and will continue to influence leaders for centuries to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *