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why did julius caesar cross the rubicon

But his own men mutinied and handed him over to his enemy together with other senators. The mistake wasn't in letting the situation get that far, but in that they believed the Roman and Italian people would rally to defend the Republican system. ", The Roman historian Plutarch reported that at this critical moment of decision Caesar declared in Greek and in a loud voice, "let the die be cast!" Even in Roman times, gambling games with dice were popular. Pompey and his new optimate allies hatched a plan to seize the moment to take Caesar to court. Rome’s treasury was housed in the Temple of Saturn at the Forum; it was sacked by Caesar in 49 B.C. if you crossed you must overthrow the gov and became the emperor or die. Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River when he invaded from Gaul. Caesar believes the gods are on his side, encouraging him to proceed into Italy. Background. Caesar had been appointed to a governorship over a region that ranged from southern Gaul to Illyricum (but not Italy). But the main beneficiary of the wars was undoubtedly Caesar himself. He realized how important his decision was, especially since Rome had already undergone a ​civil dispute a few decades earlier. 2016. Black lines indicate detours made by Caesar’s troops. 52, H. 1, 2003, pp. Sulla defended the rights of Rome’s increasingly discredited noble rulers against the populares, the Senate faction who represented the interests of non-noble citizens clamoring for reform. In December, when the plebeian leader Curio persuaded the Senate to vote on the proposal for Caesar and Pompey to lay down their arms at the same time, 370 senators voted for it and just 22 against. Why did Julius Caesar cross the Rubicon? To cross the Rubicon is a metaphor which means to take an irrevocable step that commits one to a specific course. If you did it meant that you were going to overthrow the government/emperor. On January 10th, 49 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar uttered one of history’s most famous lines, Iacta alea est (sometimes written alea iacta est), after which he crossed the Rubicon river with his army and set the Roman Civil War in motion. Julius Caesar believed the omens received from the gods and the unfairness of Rome's Republic necessitated violating an ancient Roman law that forbade any general from crossing the Rubicon … She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. But if he didn't bring his troops into Italy, Caesar would be forced to relinquish his command and likely be forced into exile, giving up his military glory and ending his political future. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he started a five-year Roman civil war. on the banks of the Rubicon, Julius Caesar faced a critical choice. Although he was breaking the law, Pompey accepted the mission. But his ambitions were not satisfied. This magnanimous and unexpected gesture was calculated to show the public that he was no tyrant, but rather a man on the side of the people and the republic, an image he would foster until the end of his life. Despite the death of their captain, Pompey’s supporters had regrouped in order to avenge him, and Caesar was forced to buckle on his armor again, briefly returning to Rome before dealing a crushing blow against his enemies in modern-day Tunisia in 46 B.C. A When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, he expressed disrespect to the Roman Senate and started the war against it. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2017/03-04/julius-caesar-crossing-rubicon-rome.html. Despite rejecting Antony’s offer, Caesar was assassinated a month later. According to the poet Lucan, Caesar declared: “Here I abandon peace and desecrated law. So now ... their scandalous liaison isn’t stepping behind the scenes ... but exploding into full-scale war!”. Today's history lesson involves the beginning of the large chapter in the career and life of Julius Caesar, Roman general, governor, politician, and patrician. They in turn swore to avenge the insults against him and the tribunes. Caesar definitely debated for a while about what to do. Why did Julius Caesar “cross the Rubicon” in 49 BCE? The day before the crossing, Caesar acted as if nothing unusual was happening. In-text: (Julius Caesar Biography, 2016) Your Bibliography: Biography.com. He was explicitly ordered not to take his army across the Rubiconriver, which was at that time a norther… He again offered to resign his command at the same time as Pompey, but the Senate interpreted his proposal as a gesture of arrogance. Secretly, he had ordered his cohorts to proceed to the banks of the river and wait for him there. On this day, Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon River with his 13th legion and head towards Rome. Thousands of pages have been written about Julius Caesar, Pompey and the Civil War fought between them. Caesar surprisingly accepted, perhaps to demonstrate a willingness to compromise. He understood that civil war would most likely ensue between himself and the Roman nobility, led by his strongest rival and former ally: the brilliant military commander Pompey the Great. Meanwhile, Pompey had convinced himself that his forces were stronger than Caesar’s and that his charismatic leadership would enable him to recruit as many men as he wished in Italy. Albert Einstein is supposed to have said: “Never memorize what you can look up in a book”. A. Pompey and the Senate tried to end his political and military career. Julius Caesar Biography 2016. At the same time, he had at his back a trained, experienced, and fiercely loyal army. Caesar was not the first person to openly violate the law of the republic. The crossing of a small stream in northern Italy became one of ancient history's most pivotal events. D. He hoped to aid Clodius’ gang in their war with the Milos gang. His allies fled Italian towns and cities as Caesar approached. 22. If he brought his veteran armies across the river Rubicon in northern Italy, the Republic would be in a state of civil war. Fearing for their lives, Mark Antony and Cassius fled Rome disguised as slaves and joined Caesar in the north. Despite its appearance, crossing this humble river would have serious consequences. Many of these soldiers join up with Caesar. How Julius Caesar Started a Big War by Crossing a Small Stream. B. So he made his decision to cross the river with his army and said the famous phrase “the die is cast” as there was no turning back. The proposal might have been acceptable but was rejected due to fierce opposition by Cato the Younger, one of Caesar’s most implacable opponents. 21. * When E.S. As he stood, he debated whether or not to cross the Rubicon, a river separating Cisalpine Gaul—the piece of land where Italy joins the mainland and at the time inhabited by Celts—from the Italian peninsula. Having successfully led his troops in the north, Julius Caesar became governor of Gaul, part of modern-day France. Fully aware of the momentous nature of his decision, Caesar ignored the warning and began to march south on Rome. The following year, 48 B.C., Caesar dedicated to pursuing Pompey across Greece. Bill R. 1 decade ago. Depicted on the back of an aureus minted in Gaul, Mark Antony was entrusted with the command of the left wing of Caesar’s army in major battles. Julius Caesar was one of Rome's most powerful and iconic rulers, but do you know how he seized control of Rome? Faced with such obstinacy, his enemies in Rome scrambled to increase the pressure on the rogue governor. Sulla was appointed dictator. Biography of Pompey the Great, Roman Statesman, M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota. The tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius (a relative of the famous Cassius who later conspired to assassinate Caesar) exercised their veto, but it was rejected by the Senate. 67-94. By the act of crossing the Rubicon, he initiated a civil war, essentially making himself a criminal in the eyes of the Senate of Rome. 0 1. A chariot pulled by mules from a nearby bakery was waiting for him outside, and after a considerable delay in finding the exact position of his troops, he eventually managed to join them on the bank. Caesar only delivered the death blow to Pompey’s stubborn followers in Spain a year later, in 45 B.C. On January 10, 49 B.C., on the banks of the Rubicon River in southern Gaul (near the modern-day city of Ravenna), Julius Caesar and the soldiers of the 13th Legion waited and weighed their options. For the record, Julius Caesar not only did he win the battle, but in just two months, the future dictator managed to take over the whole of Italy with almost no resistance. Caesar’s career was marked by this atmosphere of frenzied competition for power between nobles and populists. As dictator, Caesar presided over the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was a general of an army of the Republic, based in the north of what is now Northern Italy. In a particularly spectacular coup, he even managed to buy off the consul Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus for a colossal down payment of some nine million denarii. Shortly after the removal of his military rival, Caesar arrived in Egypt, where he patched up the dynastic struggle between Ptolemy and his sister, Cleopatra VII. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. How Julius Caesar Started a Big War by Crossing a Small Stream In 49 B.C. On that infamous March day the following year, he succumbed to the assassins’ knives. A jeep model is named for his crossing the Rubicon River, and a calendar still in use—the Julian—takes its name from him. But what kind of die was Caesar casting and what decision was he making? According to the late first-century historian Plutarch, a contemporary of Suetonius: “When they said that if Caesar was heading to Rome they could not see what troops could withstand him, Pompey boastfully replied with a smile: ‘Legions will spring up anywhere I stamp on the ground in Italy.’”, Marcus Caelius Rufus, an aristocrat, summarized the situation in a letter to Cicero in the fall of that year: “The closer we come to this inevitable clash, the more apparent the danger. 0 0. Caesar had no intention of obeying the Senate, and he knew perfectly well what the consequences of his insubordination would be. The plebeian tribunes supporting Caesar surround him, aware of the momentousness of the occasion, and plan their next movements. Today, the meaning of crossing the Rubicon refers to making a challenging decision that can have unpredictable consequences. Source(s): https://shrinke.im/a0fty. After crossing the Rubicon into the Roman Republic near Ravenna in early January, Caesar marches his forces south to Ariminum. These included improving land and grain distribution, as well as the reorganization of local government across Italy. A bust from the National Archaeological Museum in Naples depicts Julius Caesar, whose popularity skyrocketed after his conquest of Gaul, threatening the power of Rome’s nobility. In 81 B.C. An emergency briefly offered a way out of the stalemate: The Parthians were threatening Rome’s eastern borders and the Senate was asked to send two legions to defend the province of Syria. Stung by Caesar’s affronts, the powerful aristocratic faction in the Senate—known as the optimates—were waiting to pounce on him when his consulship ended, when he would be left without official immunity and highly vulnerable to his enemies. In the event, he was succeeded by his adopted son, Octavian, who consolidated the drift toward authoritarian leadership, later becoming the Emperor Augustus. gold coin. He would not stand down as governor of Gaul, as stipulated, but would instead stay on until the end of 49 B.C., proposing that in the summer of that year, he would stand for election to become consul for a second time. They urged him to take command of the army and of as many additional troops as he wanted to recruit himself. He was headed to Transalpine Gaul to begin serving as Governor. N.S. On 10 January 49 BC, Roman general Julius Caesar defied an ultimatum set to him by the Senate. These are the sources and citations used to research Why did Julius Caesar cross the Rubicon?. In the attempt to destroy Pompey and his extensive allies across the Roman world, Caesar was forced to cover astonishing distances, putting down a revolt in modern-day Marseille in France before routing Pompey’s loyalists in Spain at the Battle of Ilerda in June. Caesar races to cut him off, but Pompey sails to the Greek shore with his troops in mid-March. On swiftly passing to the far bank of this minor river, Caesar set the republic hurtling down the second course. But Julius Caesar did, in fact, 'cross the Rubicon,'; even though we cannot be certain which streamlet between Ravenna and Rimini once bore that name. As Caesar debates whether to cross the Rubicon, an otherwordly figure appears, wearing a yellow tunic and playing a lute (left). By accusing him of corruption and abuses of power during his time in Gaul, they hoped to bring his political career to an end. The mysterious being snatches a trumpet from a Roman soldier and plays it as he crosses the river, followed by Caesar’s army. On January 10, 49 BC, commanding the Legio XIII, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy proper to the south. Suetonius tells of a miraculous event that occured as Caesar mulled over crossing the Rubicon, depicted in this 1494 painting by Francesco Granacci. Therefore, by crossing the Rubicon into Gaul and starting the war, Caesar threw the dice, not only sealing his own political future but effectively ending the Roman Republic and beginning the Roman Empire. Menander was one of Caesar's favorite dramatists. Here he mulled the agonizing choice that lay before him. This Day In History: January 10, 49 BC. Plutarch reports that he spent time with his friends "estimating the great evils of all mankind which would follow their passage of the river and the wide fame of it which they would leave to posterity. His troops approach Sulmo, which immediately surrenders. But this campaign was just the beginning. opened, Caesar sent the Senate a letter from Ravenna, giving them his final word on the matter. Bust of Julius Caesar (sculptor unknown) Farewell to treaties. When Julius Caesar was about to cross the tiny Rubicon River in 49 B.C.E., he quoted from a play by Menander to say " anerriphtho kybos! " The Parisii minted this second-century B.C. Cingulum opens its gates to Caesar’s troops without any bloodshed. Fortune, it is you I follow. At the war's end, Julius Caesar was declared dictator for life. A die is simply one of a pair of dice. A WELL-KNOWN war. Caesar’s combination of wealth and military clout struck fear and loathing into the hearts of senators back in Rome—not least his erstwhile ally, Pompey, who since Crassus’s death had been moving politically closer to the aristocratic optimates. They had witnessed the honing of his skills as a military and political strategist, subjugating Gaul (corresponding to much of modern-day France and northern Italy), extending the bounds of the Roman Republic as far as the Rhine, and all the time shoring up his influence back in Rome. When he was making this decision, Caesar was contemplating committing a heinous crime. C. Gnaeus Pompey and Rome were threatened by a dangerous revolt. If Caesar brought his troops from Gaul into Italy, he would be violating his role as a provincial authority and would essentially be declaring himself an enemy of the state and the Senate, fomenting civil war. 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