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Quote of the Week – Julius Caesar

April 30, 2013

Let us go where the omens of the Gods and the iniquity of our enemies call us. The die is now cast

Suetonius  Divus Julius 32

Or alternatively as Plutarch (Caesar 32.6) recalls it ‘Let the die be cast’

In both Suetonius’ and Plutarch’s accounts of the life of Julius Caesar they state that he made this statement just before the crossing of the Rubicon. The phrase is used to indicate that an action has been taken and the future is now in the hands of fate. However, I prefer the way Canfora (2007:144) explains it, stating that they were the words used by people who ‘risk everything in an audacious venture’. This certainly can be applied to Caesar’s actions; to me the passion and energy in such a statement would certainly have rallied his cohorts and is an appropriate sign for the start of the civil war.


Canfora, L. Caesar. The People’s Dictator, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Plutarch. Caesar – Plutarch’s Lives Translated by Perrin, B. (1919) Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Perseus Digital Library [Accessed 30 April 2013]

Suetonius Tranquillus, C. Divus Julius – The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Translated by Thomson, A, Eugene Reed, J. (Ed) (1889) Philadelphia: Gebbie & Co. Perseus Digital Library [Accessed 30 April 2013]


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