Julius Caesar was a unique individual in many respects. He had been delivered in the first of what quickly became known as a Caesarian Section; and he, while still a child, wrote of his visions and dreams of leading Rome. As a young man he recorded his conquests in Germania from his early days as Tribune in charge of the Northern legions. He was intelligent, uncommon and unusual and thereby made many enemies.
In BC 49 Julius Caesar with his legions crossed the Rubicon River entering the city of Rome and initiated a civil war that was quickly ended with his forced declaration as First Consul. This was a violation both of longstanding tradition and Roman law – that no citizen should come armed against the city of Rome. Caesar gained sole control by BC 48. As noted, he had long before decided that he had been destined to rule Rome, and considering his acquired power and fierceness, no one was in any position to withstand him.
Rome started down a path that would cause it to cease being a republic (which it had been for about 520 years) and Gaius Julius Caesar was granted the title as the first Imperator in BC 45. He was also elected by the humbled senate as sole dictator for life, although the senate at the time still controlled Rome. His life was to come to an end almost as quickly as he had come to power. He ruled Rome for less than five years and was emperor for 14 months before he was assassinated by a group of Roman Senators and other knife-wielding citizens on the Ides (the fourteenth) of March BC 44.
Rome continued through decades of despotic dictatorships, civil wars, and coups, and yet somehow managed to survive as a world power in some form until the successive invasions of the Germanic tribes: the Thervingi or Visigoths (Western Goths), in their second but first full-scale invasion under Alaric in 409, the Vandals in 422, Huns in 440, and ending with the Heruli and Greuthungi, known by the Romans as the Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths). The Dark Ages date from the fall of Rome to the Ostrogoths and Heruli in 476. By 488 the Ostrogoths had conquered all of Italia and much of Europe under Theodoric.