Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find below an ancient phrase in one language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.
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Latin: Alea iacta est.
English: The die is cast.
Alea iacta est (“The die is cast”) is a variation of a Latin phrase (iacta alea est[ˈjakta ˈaːlɛ.a ˈɛst]) attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar on January 10, 49 BC, as he led his army across the Rubicon river in Northern Italy. With this step, he entered Italy at the head of his army in defiance of the Senate and began his long civil war against Pompey and the Optimates. The phrase, either in the original Latin or in translation, is used in many languages to indicate that events have passed a point of no return. It is now most commonly cited with the word order changed (“Alea iacta est”) rather than in the original phrasing. The same event inspired another idiom with the same meaning, “crossing the Rubicon“.
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