Julius Caesar and his army traveled through Northern Italy’s Rubicon River in January, 49 BC. This act thrust the Republic of Rome into civil war. Caesar had control of the Italian peninsula in its entirety within only three months; he had caused his rival, Pompey to flee to Greece. In Spain, Caesar had defeated the multitudes who had pled allegiance to Pompey.
Caesar began the pursuit of Pompey all the way to Greece. Even though Caesar was outnumbered, he crumbled his enemy’s forces; Pompey was successful in escaping to Egypt. Caesar unrelentingly continued the pursuit of Pompey to Egypt. While there, Pompey was murdered by one of King Ptolemy XIII’s officers. His head was offered to Caesar as a gift. It is reported that Caesar wept at the sight of his head.
Perhaps being the power-hungry tyrant that he was, Caesar was disappointed for his big prize to have been delivered so easily by someone else, and thus stealing his own glory in the victory.
Crossing the Rubicon River has gone down in history as the event that cast the die. In other words, it is considered to be the event that sealed Caesar’s fate. Previous to that time, Caesar’s selfish and power-hungry acts had begun quite a following of enemies, keeping their eyes on his every move. The crossing of the Rubicon was tantamount to the last domino falling in a long series of standing dominos.
In 47 BC, when Caesar returned to Rome, his power had been consolidated and his authority solidly established. He had declared himself to be a supreme ruling dictator for life. Many members of the Senate turned against him. A group of sixty senate members resolved that the only way to eliminate the problem with Caesar was to assassinate the Caesar.
The conspirators to the murder of Julius Caesar were secretive and very cautious. They never met openly; rather they chose to assemble in small groups at each other’s homes. They talked and planned and considered every proposal. They carefully thought out how the plan could be executed.
While many plans were proposed, the one that was chosen was that he would be murdered while he sat in the Senate. The advantages of this plan were that none other than Senators were allowed in the Senate so he would be by himself without guards. The conspirators could sneak daggers into the senate by hiding them beneath their robes.
That day, Caesar was apprehensive about going to the Senate. Even his wife warned him. But one of the main conspirators was a close friend to Caesar and he chided Caesar about his apprehensions and about being weak if he followed the advice of his wife, a mere woman.
The plan was successful; after a series of almost-foiled attempts at stabbing Caesar, he eventually fell with some thirty-five wounds to his body. Caesar died at the foot of Pompey’s statue, a final irony.
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