Julius Caesar pausing before crossing the Rubicon (?January 10th?) 49 BCE.
The literal river (stream if you ask me) was a simple matter to step into and cross. Just reading that, I assumed that it was an immense river, like the one kilometer wide one I live beside. Looking at the pictures, it is clearly not.καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ τὸν Ῥουβίκωνα ποταμὸν ἐλθών, ὃς ἀφώριζεν αὐτῷ τὴν δεδομένην ἐπαρχίαν, ἔστη σιωπῇ καὶ διεμέλλησεν, αὐτὸς ἄρα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν συλλογιζόμενος τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ τολμήματος, εἶτα, ὥσπερ οἱ πρὸς βάθος ἀφιέντες ἀχανὲς ἀπὸ κρημνοῦ τινος ἑαυτούς, μύσας τῷ λογισμῷ καὶ παρακαλυψάμενος πρὸς τὸ δεινόν, καὶ τοσοῦτον μόνον Ἑλληνιστὶ πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας ἐκβοήσας, ‘ἀνερρίφθω κύβος,’ διεβίβαζε τὸν στρατόν.
The Rubicon in February 2012.
Photo by Cicciotto (CC BY-SA 3.0)
There must be some overlapping of the gravity of the recklessness of the situation with the simple action of crossing the river. The water doesn't look deep at all and it looks so un-yawing that an athletic soldier (without kit) may have actually been able to jump it, and the banks are hardly higher than the water-level, and certainly not over hanging. (Presumably, with the return to the singular, he is portrayed as literally squinting and covering his face.)
Are those three exagerations taken as a whole and called by the name of some literary device, or are the severally distinguished from each other by different names?