by Jake Jacobs
10 February 2009
On January 10th, 49 BCE, Gaius Julius Caesar and the Roman armies under his command stood on the banks of the Rubicon, a river that divided Italy from the provinces. Crossing the river meant breaking Roman law and committing himself to war against his former partner Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (aka Pompey the Great) and the Roman Senate. According the historian Suetonius he declared "alea iacta est" ("the die is cast") and crossed the Rubicon on his way to Rome and immortality. The river has changed course many times in the years since, so modern historians cannot agree on precisely where Caesar made the crossing; nor are they sure that he uttered the famous line. What they can be very sure of is that in the two thousand and forty-seven years since no Italian has rolled as well. On January 4th, 2009, Bruno Orsuni came pretty close.
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