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Julius Caesar bust sculpture, the Emperor made with Marble Dust. A fine large library bust of Julius Caesar, probably the most famous of all Roman emperors. Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative elite, within the Roman Senate, among them, Cato the Younger, with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Julius Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus, in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Julius Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion to march on Rome. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome. Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.