Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, 49 BC
In terms of sheer glory, legend, and impact, no moment will ever match this. Caesar is a great general, a fifty-year-old man who has spent much of the last decade conquering Gaul. He stands on the north side of a swollen, half-frozen river known as the Rubicon. All returning generals are required to disband their troops before crossing this border. Failure to do so is considered an act of war. But in Rome, Caesar faces charges of war crimes. So he decides on civil war. He addresses his four thousand soldiers: “The die is cast.” Caesar and his legion cross into Italy.