Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

Imperium A Novel of Ancient Rome When Tiro the confidential secretary and slave of a Roman senator opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel h

  • Title: Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome
  • Author: Robert Harris
  • ISBN: 9780743266031
  • Page: 340
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When Tiro, the confidential secretary and slave of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island s corrupt Roman governor, Verres The senator is MWhen Tiro, the confidential secretary and slave of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island s corrupt Roman governor, Verres The senator is Marcus Cicero an ambitious young lawyer and spellbinding orator, who at the age of twenty seven is determined to attain imperium supreme power in the state Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was fascinating or charismatic than Cicero And Tiro the inventor of shorthand and author of numerous books, including a celebrated biography of his master which was lost in the Dark Ages was always by his side Compellingly written in Tiro s voice, Imperium is the re creation of his vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero s quest for glory, competing with some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his or any other age Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history Robert Harris, the world s master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own a world of Senate intrigue and electoral corruption, special prosecutors and political adventurism to describe how one clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable man fought to reach the top.Page Numbers Source ISBN 0099406314
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      Published :2019-07-10T09:15:07+00:00

    352 Comment

    • Stephen says:

      3.0 stars. This book did exactly what I expected it to do. It was a both a solid, enjoyable read and at the same time an unremarkable story that will be forgotten as quickly as my self respect inhibitions on Tequila. To put it in the shell's nut, this was good entertainment but likely won't earn a hallowed place among your list of favorites. I did appreciate that this book lent itself extremely well to audio because the story is VERY easy to follow and the narrative is not jammed with dense expo [...]

    • Kalliope says:

      Historical fiction writers are cursed. They are not Robert Graves.Nonetheless, this is an entertaining attempt with a provoking figure as the main focus to visit Ancient Republican Rome. The book deals with the fascinating life of the political animal and great thinker, Marcus Tullius Cicero. This novel is the first in a Trilogy. The second has a different title for the English Lustrum and American editions Conspirata. The third one has not been published yet. I have so far read only this first [...]

    • Jan-Maat says:

      I was listening to the radio one morning and the presenter was interviewing Robert Harris on the subject of his new book the concluding part of a Trilogy about the man known to eternity as Chickpea - or Cicero (view spoiler)[ perhaps with a bit of luck, if the gods of Technology smile upon us you can hear for yourself (hide spoiler)]. Harris was of the opinion that we need "more politicians like Cicero rather than Caesar" - a view you will certainly agree with if you are Gaulish and that he thou [...]

    • Alex says:

      Harris has done something really smart here: if he'd published a three-volume biography of Cicero, no one would have read it. (Well, I wouldn't have.) So instead it's a trilogy of historical novels, which sounds way more fun. But it comes down to nearly the same thing, right? This is a very detailed, carefully researched work about Cicero.It's told first-person by Tiro, Cicero's scribe, who's a real guy who wrote a real biography of Cicero (now lost). It's a clever gambit by Harris; it allows hi [...]

    • Mary says:

      Well, I just finished listening to "Imperium" by Robert Harris. Once more, Harris delves into the inner workings of the Roman Empire only this time, he retreats back to the Republican era and creates a fictional biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero as seen through the eyes of his slave secreatary, Tiro.Since I was originally seduced into my passion for learning about the Roman Empire by Colleen McCullough and her "Masters of Rome" series of novels, I naturally began this investigation of the life [...]

    • Jeanette says:

      For me this was a 5 star read. Robert Harris has Tiro, Cicero's scribe/clerk, writing the linear in time progressions of his younger "coming up" to power years. It holds those eyes and hearts of Roman sensibilities during change in the republic, both in its aristocrats, and in its plebs - incredibly well. And how Cicero connotes the entire, foremost the law- courts, religious and holiday festivals also influence and surround attention and direction.There are quotable paragraphs every few pages. [...]

    • Eric_W says:

      I was reading a biography of Julius Caesar after having watched some episodes of “Rome,” a rather bawdy but interesting version of the rise of Octavian in which Cicero plays a prominent, if cheesey role, so I knowing Harris through some other books, I grabbed this one.Told through the eyes and memory of his servant, Tiro, supposedly the inventor of shorthand, the mechanism for perfect recording of the actual speeches, Cicero’s place in the history of oratory (Demosthenes taught that conten [...]

    • Terri says:

      I have never really been all that interested in Roman political history. After all, I am barely interested in modern politics. This is why I have owned this book for a few years and have put off reading it. But, having now taken that step and read it, I should not have put it off so long.The book is written in an endearing style and the word I often used while reading it was 'jolly'. It seemed the one word I could think of to encapsulate its feel. I do not mean comedic, or silly, or slapstick, I [...]

    • Marquise says:

      A pretty decent novel about Roman politician and arguably greatest orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, that I understand is the start of a trilogy. The novel is narrated in first person by Cicero's freedman and secretary Marcus Tullius Tiro (upon freedom, slaves used to take up the praenomen and nomen of their masters), and covers Cicero's early life as a struggling young advocate trying to make a name for himself as he studiously takes classes with legendary orators from Greece both to improve his sp [...]

    • will says:

      [The following review was written three years ago, when I read the book the first time. I expected to change my opinion of the book, and at least take one star off my rating. However, it is a good book, and was not damaged by a second reading. Therefore, I'll let the review and the rating stand.]Before I start I must say that I enjoy Robert Harris books. I picked up Fatherland in one of those "buy three books get the fourth free" promotions. I had no intention of getting it but you know how it i [...]

    • Bubu says:

      1.5 stars for the narration, 4 for the story. But I'm rounding it down because of the awful audio version.For a more in-depth analysis of the book, please read Marquise's wonderfully written review.Robert Harris' books are pretty much hit and miss for me. But this series is truly good.Imperium tells the story of Marcus Tullius Cicero, advocate, politician and orator; his rise to power as well as the slow decline of the Roman Republic. It's captivating and well written, giving the reader a fairly [...]

    • Rob says:

      Executive Summary: I really enjoyed the first 50% and the last 15% or so, but the third in between got kind of slow. 3.5 stars rounded rounded down for the lull.Audio book: Simon Jones does an excellent job with the narration, and seems like a great fit.Full ReviewI used to love history. I used to watch the history channel for hours. I'm not sure why I never really got into historical fiction, or even nonfiction for that matter.I don't remember much about Rome however. I looked up Cicero and Tir [...]

    • Mark says:

      I loved this book. Harris has written a novel that combines a good political potboiler with solid historical fiction, based on real events in the life of the famous Roman senator and consul Cicero.Narrated by Cicero's slave and scribe, Tiro, who invented an early elaborate version of shorthand so he could take down speeches and debates as they occurred, the novel joins Cicero as a young man, and then takes us through his landmark prosecution of Verres, a corrupt governor of Sicily (and you wonde [...]

    • Hannah says:

      4 Stars - Great bookThe one or two spoilers are not hidden because they are mainly historical facts that anyone could Google. You've been warned.I have a passion for/deep interest in ancient history and ancient cultures, Ancient Rome is my favorite of those ancient cultures. I love that a culture and history so old is as well documented as it is (comparatively speaking) with its literature, poetry, buildings, and monuments. This fascination started when I took Latin in high school. Yes, I took L [...]

    • Emily says:

      I really enjoyed this! That's despite the fact that it was about Cicero, who the historical record clearly shows was a dick. One of the best parts of Harris's writing was how well he was able to sketch character portraits of the dozens of characters included, particularly Cicero and the other senators. Cicero is a true politician: he's in this for the consulship, and viewed through that lens (and supported by his writings), he becomes a real, fleshed-out person who I couldn't quite love but did [...]

    • Veeral says:

      I have read three books by Robert Harris recently; this one, Pompeii and Enigma. Notwithstanding anything I might have found previously to say about his works, one thing I have to give him is that the man does his research quiet well. He does not rely on heavy words like some authors to veil an otherwise paper thin plot (that is, if there is one to start with), but he trusts his immaculate research to speak for his work with a clean narration. As a result, the reader is exposed to a very well re [...]

    • Dean Lombardo says:

      Call it a prequel to Robert Harris' "Pompeii," if you like, "Imperium" follows the brilliant career of Roman senator, advocate and philosopher, Marcus Cicero as he outdazzles his political rivals in a decades-long display of words and wit, without having to resort to the threats and violence that his enemies do. The tale is narrated by Tiro, Cicero's scribe, who appparently really did exist, though his scrolls were lost. "Imperium" tries to recapture the content of those lost scrolls through Har [...]

    • Pieter De vroe says:

      Stond als een van de zondagse boekentips op de site van de redactie. Een heel interessante rubriek. Dit is één van de lievelingsboeken van Bart De Wever. Omdat Augustus me zo goed was bevallen wou ik graag meer lezen over de Romeinen. Weer viel de leesbaarheid me enorm mee. Het leest als een politieke thriller en je hebt het gevoel dat je iets leert ook. Het enorm aantal personages maken het wel handig om een lijst bij te houden wat ik maar na een goeie 150 pagina's doorhad waardoor ik grote s [...]

    • Blair says:

      I love reading about ancient Rome. It's a period I have become very interested in and learned about primarily though fiction (films as well as books). I have also enjoyed the Robert Harris books I've read in the past, which, although certainly intelligent and well-written, have been fast-paced, dramatic and quick reads. Thus while the Roman setting of Imperium intrigued me, I expected it to be light and easy to read, and probably heavily embellished. In actual fact, it's really quite a serious n [...]

    • Ollie says:

      A reviewer called this novel "Labour in Togas" because of the many parallels one can draw between Tony Blair's ascent and Cicero's career. Both men stood against the "aristocracy" and represented the common people; both men had to change the laws of their governments because of "terrorists"; and both men eventually found themselves shaking hands with their enemies in order to maintain their power. Imperium is a historical novel that builds its thrills much like a John Grisham courtroom thriller. [...]

    • Dimitri says:

      The novelty of using Cicero's loyal and beloved secretary Tiro as narrator is cute, but wears off soon. The asserted story of how this loyal slave re-entered voluntarily into his master's service after his liberation probably had more to do with the slim chances of survival for old slaves on the streets of Rome. Same goes for the detailed court proceedings: it is amusing to see Cicero before he became Cicero, polishing his rethoric and even taking up a fitness regimen to improve his lungs. The s [...]

    • Ed says:

      Part One of an intended trilogy, this is a fictional biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero, as told by his personal secretary and slave Tiro. Tiro did actually write a biography of Cicero but it was lost during the Middle Ages. It begins when Cicero is twenty-seven and is determined to attain Imperium, the highest office in the Roman Republic, that of Consul. It ends some twenty years later with a surprising election. In between there is suspense and danger as Cicero works his political magic to ac [...]

    • Karl Jorgenson says:

      Robert Harris has been replaced by an alien doppelganger, probably the same alien who wrote Iron and Rust, pretending to be Harry Sidebottom. Both these books from my favorite authors are endless summary, endless telling with little showing, and endless, endless, impenetrable Roman names, hundreds of characters, most of whom mean nothing.I think Harris' problem is, in writing about the real Cicero and what really happened, he felt constrained to tell us all the boring crap that is true, and fail [...]

    • Ram says:

      A book about the life of Cicero, and the last years of Rome as a republic. I have read many historical fiction books about the era and some nonfiction books. In all of them, the main characters where the ones that gained the most power (Caesar, Sula, Marius, Pompey and others). Cicero was mentioned, but as one of many side characters. That is the main point that interested me in this book. The fact that Cicero, who never led armies, managed to gain power and influence using his great ability as [...]

    • Allan says:

      I've enjoyed a number of Harris' titles, including his recent novel, 'Conclave', and while I realise that the Roman trilogy, of which this is the first, is what he considers his best work, it didn't appeal to me that much.The cheeky parallels to politics today are obvious in the wheeling and dealing that goes on in the narrative, and from reading around the book, the historical accuracy of events seems to be spot on, but I think for me, the issue was the fact that the period isn't one that I hav [...]

    • Armin Hennig says:

      Aufgerundet auf fünf, um den Abstand zu einigen ganz netten Viersterne-Büchern zu markieren.Ausführliche Rezi folgt später

    • Cathleen says:

      I read and enjoyed Harris' An Officer and a Spy very much, so when I went looking for a novel about Ancient Rome, Harris's novel seemed to fit the bill. I enjoyed this novel, too, but I picked it up and put it down over a longish period of time. I felt my attention flag particularly during the middle third of the novel--lots and lots of details. My background knowledge of the politics of Ancient Rome is thin, so keeping track of the multitude of characters and all of their entanglements slowed m [...]

    • Kiwi Begs2Differ✎ says:

      Historical fiction meet courtroom drama. The best part for me was the successful prosecution of Gaius Verres (the governor of Sicily), while the second part (the pursuit of consulship) was less thrilling. I’m a bit disappointed the book didn’t include the famous speech against Catilina, for that I will need to wait till the next book.Fav. quote:Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them.

    • Kate Hewitt says:

      I'm reading this in preparation for seeing the stage version at the RSC next week. I have enjoyed novels of Ancient Rome, but admit to knowing shockingly little about Cicero. This novel was action-packed and felt historically rich (although I have to take it at face value, not knowing the history period well enough!) This is my first Robert Harris novel, but it won't be my last.

    • Aylavella says:

      Una novela histórica muy entretenida, que en ningún momento se hace pesada.Nos cuenta la vida de Roma en los últimos años de la República de la mano de Cicerón y su fiel secretario Tiro (que es el narrador de la historia).Bien contada, con un lenguaje sencillo y una buena documentación histórica.Muy recomendable para los amantes de esta época de la historia.

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