— Julius Caesar
As quoted in Vita Divi Iuli [The Life of the deified Julius] (121 CE) by Suetonius, paragraph 33 http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/suetonius/suet.caesar.html#33 (Caesar: … "Iacta alea est", inquit. – Caesar said … "the die is cast".)
Said when crossing the river Rubicon with his legions on 10 January, 49 BC, thus beginning the civil war with the forces of Pompey. The Rubicon river was the boundary of Gaul, the province Caesar had the authority to keep his army in. By crossing the river, he had committed an invasion of Italy.
A contrasting account from Plutarch, Life of Pompey, 60.2.9:
:<u>Ἑλληνιστὶ</u> πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας ἐκβοήσας, «Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος», [anerrhíphtho kúbos] διεβίβαζε τὸν στρατόν.
::He [Caesar] declared <u>in Greek</u> with loud voice to those who were present ‘Let the die be cast’ and led the army across.
: He was reportedly quoting the playwright Menander, specifically “Ἀρρηφόρῳ” (Arrephoria, or “The Flute-Girl”), according to Deipnosophistae, Book 13 http://remacle.org/bloodwolf/erudits/athenee/XIII.htm, paragraph 8, saying «Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος» (anerrhíphtho kúbos). The Greek translates rather as “<u>let</u> the die <u>be</u> cast!”, or “Let the game be ventured!”, which would instead translate in Latin as iacta ālea estō. According to Lewis and Short ( Online Dictionary: alea http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3D%231776, Lewis and Short at the Perseus Project. See bottom of section I.).
Original: (la) Alea iacta est.