• cross the Rubicon

    to do something that later cannot be changed


cross the Rubicon = einen unumkehrbaren Schritt machen, einen Punkt ├╝berschreiten, von dem es kein Zur├╝ck mehr gibt


In the press

What’s more, if Republicans do CROSS THE RUBICON to raise some tax rates, they could be even more likely to demand bigger entitlement cuts in return.

(Washington Post)

Will the euro CROSS THE RUBICON?


Did you know?

cross the Rubicon

- to do something which you cannot later change and which will strongly influence future events

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)



Julius Caesar thought a lot of himself and the empire he built. For this reason, he would probably take pride in the fact that the English language is stocked with expressions and idioms that can be traced to either Caesar himself or to the Roman Empire.

Cross the Rubicon

The Rubicon is a shallow river in north-eastern Italy, about 80 kilometres long, running from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. The idiom "cross the Rubicon" means to pass a point of no return. It refers to Julius Caesar's army's crossing of the river in 49 BC, which was considered an act of insurrection. Because the course of the river has changed much since then, it is impossible to confirm exactly where the Rubicon flowed when Caesar and his legions crossed it.

The die is cast

The Rubicon is perhaps most known as the place where Julius Caesar uttered the famous phrase "alea iacta est" — the die is cast — which like crossing the Rubicon refers to a process that is past the point of no return.

All roads lead to Rome

This expression, which means that there are many ways to achieve a goal, refers to the to the extensive system of roads built by the Romans, the greatest engineers of the ancient world.

Rome wasn't built in a day

Rome took around 1200 years to build. In other words, don't expect great things to be done overnight.

Fiddling while Rome burns

Legend has it that Nero played the lyre while Rome was burning. He was rumoured to have started the fire to clear space for his Domus Aurea. Someone who appears to be doing nothing to solve a big problem is said to be "fiddling while Rome burns."

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"If we move manufacturing operations to China, we'll be CROSSING THE RUBICON."

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