“No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.” — Julius Caesar
Roman military general and governor Julius Caesar defied the the Senate that appointed him on this day in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon River, precipitating a civil war that eventually led to Caesar’s establishment of the Roman Empire and appointing himself dictator. After serving his term as governor over a small state, Caesar refused his orders by the Senate to return to Rome and disband his army. Uttering "alea iacta est” — Latin for “the die is cast” — Caesar led his troops known as the Thirteenth Legion across the Rubicon River located in northern Italy, a bold move that forced the Senate to declare Caesar a traitor, sparking the Roman Civil War. Caesar’s impact on history can still be felt more than two millennia after his passing — “crossing the Rubicon” is still a common phrase used to signal a point of no return.