Watch Again

Eight Days that Made Rome:

The Momentous Choice Facing Julius Caesar in 49 BC

Watch More
back to video

»Crossing the Rubicon

The Momentous Choice Facing Julius Caesar in 49 BC

Short | 03:39

According to ancient Roman law, any general leading an army across the Rubicon river would be declared an enemy of the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar knew he was about to make an historic decision.

More About This episode

Rome had defeated her great rival Carthage and overcame a slave revolt led by Spartacus, but these victories came at a price. Army generals who could deliver foreign conquests accumulated enormous amounts of power. Julius Caesar, seeking glory, would challenge the very existence of the republic. Join historian Bettany Hughes in an exploration of the momentous day in 49 B.C. when Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, violated Roman law, and heralded the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire ruled by a single man.

Return to Video Page