The river Rubicon marked the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy proper. It was an act of treason for any general to march his troops into Italy, but on 10 January 49 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the river with his legions. Upon reaching the far bank, Caesar reportedly said, “Alea iacta est,” which translates into modern English as "the die is cast," a phrase still used today to show there is no turning back from a momentous decision. There was no actual battle by the Rubicon, but Caesar’s act marked the beginning of the Roman Civil War (49-45 BC) between his supporters and those of Pompey the Great. Caesar's eventual victory marked the de facto end of the Roman Republic.
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