The day Caesar crossed the Rubicon – level 2

10-01-49 BC

In the first century BC, Rome was a republic and the Roman Empire covered half of the known world. Rome was under the rule of three leaders, and one of them was Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar wanted to conquer new areas in Gaul which was a part of today’s France. Caesar was a great leader. Soldiers in his army were ready to blindly follow his orders. Caesar’s military campaigns were successful. He soon became a very rich man. His popularity grew so much that people in Rome started to fear him.

In 50 BC, the Senate ordered Caesar to return to Rome because his term in Gaul ended. Caesar and his army started their journey back to Rome. On January 10, 49 BC, they reached the border of the Roman Empire at the Rubicon River. The law said that any military leader who returned to Rome had to come without his army.

Caesar didn’t follow this law and he crossed the Rubicon with his army. He continued his journey to Rome. When Caesar came to Rome, he conquered it and became a dictator or a leader who chooses to do what he wants. He made new laws and became the only leader of the Roman Empire.

Difficult words: BC (before Christ), republic (a government where leaders represent the people), conquer (to get control by fighting), blindly (without thinking), order (to tell somebody to do something), term (a fixed period of time).

"What was Julius Caesar's motivation for crossing the Rubicon River with his army, despite the law stating that military leaders must return without their army? And how did this action lead to him becoming a dictator and sole leader of the Roman Empire?"


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