Eli5: Why was it world-changing that Caesar crossed the Rubicon?


Eli5: Why was it world-changing that Caesar crossed the Rubicon?

In: 1397

Because it was one of the major events that started the chain reaction which ultimately led to the destruction of the Roman Republic and it’s replacement with an Empire.

Chances are the Republic would have fallen at some point anyway even if Caesar himself was not responsible because things were starting to fall apart at that point, but nonetheless that choice ultimately led to him going to war against the senate and being appointed consul for life as appeasement.

It was a point of no return.

One Caesar crossed the rubicon he crossed into Italy proper. And bringing his army across without the approval of the senate was a big huge No-No.

Caesar crossing the rubicon is to Rome like the shelling of fort sumpter is to the USA. That shelling official started the American civil war, same goes for Caesar crossing the rubicon.

Had he stayed on the other side, it’s possible that things could’ve been worked out diplomatically. But once he crossed he officially embarked on his journey to be in charge.

Now the crossing itself? Eh. It might have not been important at all had Caesar LOST. Then it would maybe be a footnote that no one cared about. But he didn’t lose. He won. And changed the fabric of the Roman Empire. Which is a pretty big deal.

“Crossing the Rubicon” has become an idiom for “point of no return” – once you do this the cascade of events will begin and you can’t stop it.

When Caesar marched his armies across the Rubicon and towards Rome the intentions were clear – he was instigating a civil war to install himself as Emperor of Rome.

You can’t undo such an action, it would either end with Emperor Julius Caesar or Beheaded Julius Caesar.

When returning from war, the rubicon was the official/ceremonial place where an army disbanded and soldiers became citizens again.

When ceaser crossed the rubicon, he did so with his army intact. Meaning he literally marched an army towards Rome, declaring his intent for everyone to see.