V (1883); Suetonius "Life of Julius Caesar" in Davis, William Stearns, Readings in Ancient History (1912). [citation needed]. Near Pharsalus, Caesar pitched a strategic bivouac. A dramatic account of the fateful year leading to the ultimate crisis of the Roman Republic and the rise of Caesar’s autocracy When the Senate ordered Julius Caesar, conqueror of Gaul, to disband his troops, he instead marched his soldiers across the Rubicon River, in violation of Roman law. The potential prosecutions were clamored by his enemies for alleged irregularities that occurred in his consulship and war crimes claimed to have been committed during his Gallic campaigns. His position gave him access to privileged imperial documents, correspondence and diaries upon which he based his accounts. When Julius Caesar led his troops from Gaul in January of 49 B.C.E., he paused on the northern end of a bridge. Caesar Crossing the Rubicon Today, 2060 years ago (according to the old Roman calendar), Caesar crossed the Rubicon and uttered the so famous phrase alea iacta est – the die is cast. Ashamed to demand money, the men began to call out for their discharge. The Crossing of the Rubicon By Marcus Annaeus Lucanus | 2020-11-09T17:08:45-06:00 February 1st, 2017 | Categories: Civilization , Poetry , Rome , Western … He served briefly as secretary to Emperor Hadrian (some say he lost his position because he became too close to the emperor's wife.) Pompey attacked but, despite his much larger army, was conclusively defeated by Caesar's troops. Eventually, in March 49 BC, Pompey escaped and fled by sea to Epirus, leaving Caesar in complete command of Italy.[12]. At first, recognising the threat, he made offers of submission with the sole object of gaining time until Caesar's attention fell elsewhere. To do so was treason. Caesar's own account of the Civil War makes no mention of the river crossing but simply states that he marched to Rimini, a town south of the Rubicon, with his army.[9]. If he brought his veteran armies across the river Rubicon in northern Italy, the Republic would be in a state of civil war. 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. That made Caesar think that he would be prosecuted and rendered politically marginal if he entered Rome without consular immunity or his army. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. In doing so, he deliberately broke the law on imperium and made armed conflict inevitable. But when Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon, he only brought one legion; why not his whole army? Thus, on the advice of his councillors, Pompey decided to engineer a decisive battle. Caesar soon emerged as a champion of the common people, and advocated a variety of reforms. The historical records differ about the decisive comment Caesar that made on crossing the Rubicon: one report is Alea iacta est (usually translated as "The die is cast"). How To Cite This Article: can August, Caesar quelled a mutiny of his veterans in Rome. At Nicopolis Pharnaces had defeated what little Roman opposition the governor of Asia, Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, could muster. This tiny stream would reveal Caesar's intentions and mark the point of no return. Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed upon arrival. The thirty-one cohorts, however, were made to swear a new oath of allegiance to Caesar and were eventually sent to Sicily under the command of Asinius Pollio. Crossing the Rubicon led to a civil war which Caesar won, and he became dictator for life of the Roman Republic. Cicero later characterised Pompey's "outward sign of weakness" as allowing Caesar's consolidation of power. ', Accordingly he marched his army over the river; [then] he showed them the tribunes of the Plebs, who on being driven from Rome had come to meet him, and in the presence of that assembly, called on the troops to pledge him their fidelity; tears springing to his eyes [as he spoke] and his garments rent from his bosom.". Luca Fezzi. The latter arrangement triggered the conspiracy leading to his assassination on the Ides of March in 44 BC. long time - till at last, by help of a guide, whom he discovered towards daybreak, , chapter 8", Lewis E 83 Historia belli civilis inter Caesarem et Pompeium at OPenn, Wars of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Caesar%27s_Civil_War&oldid=991631716, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, March 9, Caesar's advance against Pompeian forces in, July 30, Caesar surrounded Afranius and Petreius's army in, August 2, Pompeians in Ilerda surrendered to Caesar, September 6, Massilia surrendered to Caesar, coming back from Hispania, October, Caesar appointed Dictator in Rome; presides over his own election as consul and resigns after eleven days. Caesar's allies in the Senate, especially Mark Anthony, Curio, Cassius and Caelius Rufus, tried to defend their patron, but were threatened with violence. Nothing worked, and the mutineers continued to call for their discharges and back pay. Crossing the Rubicon After Caesar spent 51 BC and the better part of 50 BC touring his newly conquered province of Gaul, political chaos was developing back in Rome. September 28, Caesar learned that Pompey was assassinated. Indeed, for his Pontic triumph, that may well have been the label displayed above the spoils. His term was later extended for another five years. The Senate, fearful of Caesar, reduced the number of legions he had,[5] then demanded that he relinquish command of his army. 11 Nov 2019. That night Anthony, Cassius, Curio and Cealius Rufus fled from Rome and headed north to join Caesar.[8]. To do so was treason. Agreeing, his army called for action. A man of strikingly noble mien and graceful aspect appeared close at hand, and played upon a pipe. Crossing The Rubicon, Literally – Caesar Sparks War In 49 BC. and he set forward on his journey as privately as Brief Summary of Book: Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar’s Decision and the Fate of Rome by Luca Fezzi Here is a quick description and cover image of book Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar’s Decision and the Fate of Rome written by Luca Fezzi which was published in 2017– . At this Caesar cried out, 'Let us go where the omens of the Gods and the crimes of our enemies summon us! Meanwhile, the aristocrats, including Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger, joined Pompey there and left a rear guard at Capua. Refusing to believe that his army had bested Caesar's legions, Pompey misinterpreted the retreat as a feint into a trap and so did not give chase to deliver the decisive coup de grâce, thus losing the initiative and his chance to conclude the war quickly. It was to no avail since Caesar quickly routed Pharnaces at the Battle of Zela (modern Zile in Turkey) with just a small detachment of cavalry. Buy Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar's Decision and the Fate of Rome by Luca Fezzi (ISBN: 9780300241457) from Amazon's Book Store. Julius Caesar Crosses the Rubicon, 49 BC The crossing of a small stream in northern Italy became one of ancient history’s most pivotal events. It was reported that Caesar dined with Sallust, Hirtius, Oppius, Lucius Balbus and Sulpicus Rufus on the night after his famous crossing into Italy January 10. He would be assassinated in 44BC. Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was murdered by an officer of King Ptolemy XIII. Despite having retreated into central Italy, Pompey and the Senatorial forces were composed of at least two legions: some 11,500 soldiers and some hastily-levied Italian troops commanded by Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. he proceeded on foot through some narrow paths, and again reached the road. Caesar's Civil War resulted from the long political subversion of the Roman Government's institutions, which began with the career of Tiberius Gracchus, continuing with the Marian reforms of the legions, the bloody dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and completed by the First Triumvirate over Rome. Either he acquiesced to the Senate's command or he moved southward to confront Pompey and plunge the Roman Republic into a bloody civil war. Julius Caesar pausing on the banks of the Rubicon. THE DIE IS NOW CAST! From this we get 2 staggering expressions, both meaning a similar component. Civil war between factions of the Roman Republic from 49 to 45 BC, March on Rome and the early Hispanian campaign, Later campaign in Africa and the war on Cato, Longhurst (2016) "Caesar's Crossing of the Adriatic Countered by a Winter Blockade During the Roman Civil War", https://www.thoughtco.com/ancient-roman-history-optimates-119359, https://www.unrv.com/julius-caesar/crossing-the-rubicon.php, "C. Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Civil War, CAESar's COMMENTARIES OF THE CIVIL WAR. In 52 BC, at the end of the First Triumvirate, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul; meanwhile, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. He lost his way and wandered about a Following this, Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavius would fight yet another civil war against remnants of the Optimates and Liberatores faction, ultimately resulting in the establishment of the Roman Empire. As the Senate's chosen commander and with the backing of at least one of the current consuls, Pompey commanded legitimacy, but Caesar's military crossing of the Rubicon rendered him a de jure enemy of the Senate and the people of Rome. Born with unbridled political ambition and unsurpassed oratory skills, Julius Caesar manipulated his way to the. Coming up with his troops on the banks of the Rubicon, which was the frontier Thanks, … However, after sunset some mules from a near-by mill were put in his carriage, For this reason, his descriptions are considered credible. Returning to Rome in December of 49 BC, Caesar was appointed dictator, with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse. Drawing Info. The Caesarian army in Italy now outnumbered the republicans (8:5) and Pompey knew the peninsula was lost for the time being. The political situation is discussed in depth in the ancient histories of Appian and Cassius Dio. [11] Caesar now had three veteran legions and fifty-three cohorts of recruits at Corfinium. Through that reverse psychology, Caesar re-enlisted four enthusiastic veteran legions to invade North Africa without spending a single sesterce. Pharnaces himself fled quickly back to the Bosporus, where he managed to assemble a small force of Scythian and Sarmatian troops with which he was able to gain control of a few cities, but one of his former governors, Asandar, attacked his forces and killed him. Antony lost control of the troops, who began looting estates south of the capital. scanty retinue. Nevertheless, the extremely-rapid approach of Caesar in person forced Pharnaces to turn his attention back to the Romans. THE DIE IS NOW CAST!' How to Keep a Slave in Ancient Rome, 170 BC. That was an illegal political act since he was entitled to keep his army until his term expired. The reason Pompey, Cato, and the rest of the anti-Caesar senators left Italy was because they believed Caesar was bringing his whole army across the Rubicon. The Roman Republic was in extremis long before the hooves of Caesar’s war horse crossed the stream that led to civil war. While he is presenting his own position in a favoura- References: This tiny stream would reveal Caesar's intentions and mark the point of no return. He escaped to Capua with those politicians who supported him, the aristocratic Optimates and the regnant consuls. He and Cato committed suicide shortly after the battle. The war was a four-year-long politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Illyria, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Hispania. January 4: Caesar narrowly escapes defeat by his former second in command, February 6: Caesar defeats the combined army of, March 17: In his last victory, Caesar defeats the, Caesar probably writes the Commentaries in this year, Julius Caesar is assassinated on March 15, the, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 01:45. Pompey refused, legalistically arguing that Caesar was his subordinate and so was obligated to cease campaigning and dismiss his armies before any negotiation. So Caesar's crossing the Rubicon jointly with his military become in truth an statement of his target to project the authority of the Senate. A man of strikingly noble mien and graceful aspect appeared close at hand, and played upon a pipe. The alliance was further consolidated by Pompey's marriage to Julia, the daughter of Caesar, in 59 BC. Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. Caesar pursued the Pompeian army to Alexandria, where he camped and became involved with the Alexandrine Civil War between Ptolemy and his sister, wife and co-regent, Cleopatra VII. To the ancient Romans, space was sacred, and the Rubicon River was … The river Rubicon was considered to be the dividing line between Italy and the rest of the Empire. During the ten years, Caesar used his military forces to conquer Gaul and to invade Britain, which was popular with the people, however his enemies claimed it was without explicit authorization by the Senate.[7]. Belatedly, Pompey requested Domitius to retreat south to rendezvous with Pompey's forces. There had been many civil wars in the previous century but the one started by Caesar was to change Roman history forever. Within a week of passing the consultum ultimum (declaring a state of emergency and outlawing Caesar) news reached Rome that Caesar had crossed the Rubicon (10 January) and had taken the Italian town of Ariminum (12 January). As crossing the Rubicon with an army was prohibited, lest a returning general attempt a coup d'etat, that triggered the ensuing civil war between Caesar and Pompey. on the banks of the Rubicon, Julius Caesar faced a critical choice. On January 10 of the year 49, Caesar and his army stood a few miles north of the Rubicon River, which marked the boundary between the Cisalpine Gaul province to the north, and Italy proper to the south. Caesar refused, and instead marched his army on Rome, which no Roman general was permitted to do by law. Caesar bluntly addressed them as "citizens", instead of "soldiers," a tacit indication that they had already discharged themselves by virtue of their disloyalty. Either he acquiesced to the Senate's command or he moved southward to confront Pompey and plunge the Roman Republic into a bloody civil war. They crowded the dais and begged to be taken to North Africa. It was January 49 BC, Caesar was staying in the northern Italian city of Ravenna and he had a decision to make. Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar's Decision and the Fate of Rome eBook: Fezzi, Luca: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store Caesar decides to challenge Proconsul Pompey and ignores the Roman Senate’s command to disband his troops. Crossing the Rubicon: In 49 BCE, Julius Caesar marched his army across the Rubicon River. It is also covered in the biographies of Plutarch. In 49 B.C. Within 27 days after setting out he arrived on the Iberian peninsula. Onroute he started the Siege of Massilia. Domitius ignored Pompey's request believing he outnumbered Caesar three to one. On March 15, 44 BC (the Ides of March) he was assassinated on the floor of the Senate. Were it not for the support of my army they would have passed judgement upon me in spite of my achievements.’ (Caesar looking at the bodies of dead senators after Pharsalus) By 50 the mood in Rome was increasingly tense. to fight it out with arms!' An ancient Roman law forbade any general from crossing the Rubicon River and entering Italy proper with a standing army. of his province, he halted for a while, and revolving in his mind the importance The soldiers were shocked since they had been through 15 years of war with Caesar and they had become fiercely loyal to him in the process. Pompey countered by constructing towers for heavy artillery on a number of merchant ships and used them to destroy the rafts as they were floated in position.    Duruy, Victor, History of Rome vol. In 50 bc the Senate ordered Julius Caesar, the increasingly ambitious conqueror of Gaul, to disband his troops. He went on to tell them that they would all be discharged immediately. Today the phrase 'crossing the Rubicon' is used whenever somebody goes past the point of no return. He asked the troops what they wanted with his cold voice. In Caesar's own account of the war, de bello ciuili, there are numerous indications as to what annoyed him greatly in this period. He had also taken the city of Amisus, which was a Roman ally; made all the boys eunuchs and sold the inhabitants to slave traders. Julius Caesar Crossword Answers for "Caesar's location before crossing the rubicon… Suetonius depicts Caesar as undecided as he approached the river, and attributes the crossing to a supernatural apparition. He said that he would pay them the money that he owed them after he won the North African campaign with other legions. with a piercing blast he crossed to the other side. The lights went out. This panel shows an episode from the life of Julius Caesar, narrated in Suetonius’ Lives of the twelve Caesars , retelling the crossing of the Rubicon by Cesar and his troupes. with a piercing blast he crossed to the other side. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Specially created by his Senate enemies, that position was meant to occupy him without giving him the command of armies or garnering him wealth and fame. and he set forward on his journey as privately as, Even as he hesitated this incident occurred. Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar's Decision and the Fate of Rome - Kindle edition by Fezzi, Luca. A secondary reason for Caesar's immediate desire for another consulship was that Caesar's 'imperium' or safety from prosecution was set to expire and his enemies in Rome had senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul. At this Caesar cried out, 'Let us go where the omens of the Gods and the crimes of our enemies summon us! Prior to the war, Caesar had served for eight years in the Gallic Wars. To hear him not merely some shepherds, but soldiers too came flocking from their posts, and amongst them some trumpeters. The First Triumvirate was an unofficial political alliance, the substance of which was Pompey's military might, Caesar's political influence and Crassus's money. Caesar pursued Pompey to Brundisium, expecting restoration of their alliance of ten years earlier. Caesar realized crossing the river was a legally-proscribed action forbidden to any army-leading general. Caesar also knew that he did not have the funds to give the soldiers their back pay, much less the money needed to induce them to re-enlist for the North African campaign. Julius Caesar's commentaries offer some political details but mainly narrate military manoeuvrers of the civil war itself. After the show of strength, Pharnaces drew back to pacify his new conquests. A Parthian alliance was not feasible since a Roman general fighting Roman legions with foreign troops was craven, and the military risk of an Italian invasion was politically unsavoury because the Italians, who thirty years earlier had rebelled against Rome, might rise against him. Most were embarrassed by their role in the mutiny in Caesar's presence. Caesar feigned indignation and then allowed himself to be won over. The idiom 'crossing the Rubicon' became popular during the 1600's in England. But what did really happen that day and how much do we really know about the event? Caesar, however, had been reinforced by two more legions from Gaul (the eighth and the twelfth) and twenty-two cohorts of recruits (recruited by Curio) and in fact outnumbered Domitius five to three. insufficiently deployed in discussing why Caesar crossed the Rubicon on 10 or 11 January 49 and marched a Roman army on Rome. The crossing of a small stream in northern Italy became one of ancient history's most pivotal events. "Julius Caesar Crosses the Rubicon, 49 BC," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2002). Afterwards, Caesar renewed his pursuit of Pompey in Greece. Scipio was defeated in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus in North Africa. [6] The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war mostly eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic (509–27 BC) and led to the Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476). retreat! The historian Appian states that Pharnaces died in battle, but Cassius Dio says that Pharnaces was captured and then killed. Moreover, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill and were quickly expelled from the Senate. From Brundisium, Caesar crossed the Strait of Otranto with seven legions to the Gulf of Valona (not Palaesta in Epirus [modern Palase/Dhermi, Albania], as reported by Lucan),[13] prompting Pompey to consider three courses of action: (i) to make an alliance with the King of Parthia, an erstwhile ally, far to the east; (ii) to invade Italy with his superior navy and/or (iii) to force a decisive battle with Caesar. Domitius after being isolated and trapped near Corfinium, was forced to surrender his army of thirty-one cohorts (about three legions) following a brief siege. The following year, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates under his former lieutenant Labienus in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo (Dictator in perpetuity or Dictator for life) of Rome. Meanwhile, Caesar had been elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC (with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) and 45 BC (sine collega, without a colleague). Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar's Decision and the Fate of Rome. To remain in Gaul meant forfeiting his power to his enemies in Rome. Throughout the Great Roman Civil War's early stages, Caesar frequently proposed to Pompey for both generals to sheathe their swords. As Caesar lingered in Egypt, the situation quickly deteriorated. When Caesar approached the speaker's dais, a hush fell over the mutinous soldiers. Afterwards pacifying Roman Hispania. The general population, which regarded Caesar as a hero, approved of his actions. After Caesar's crossing, the Rubicon was a geographical feature of note until about 42 BC, when Octavian merged the Province of Cisalpine Gaul into Italia and the river ceased to be the extreme northern border of Italy.
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