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Imperium (Cicero #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,396 Ratings  ·  1,019 Reviews

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 d
Paperback, 403 pages
Published 2006 by Hutchinson
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Margaret T. Yes, especially if you keep a list of the characters in Imperium (there are a LOT of them) and something about them.
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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 exp

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
Jun 19, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction enthusiasts
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
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
Jan 09, 2016 Jan-Maat added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan-Maat by: Issicratea
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). 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 ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 content was
Mar 17, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2011 will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[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
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 Review
I 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 T
Dec 30, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Dean Lombardo
Jan 20, 2013 Dean Lombardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 ...more
Nov 26, 2007 Oliver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of History
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. ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Roman History Fans
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
Armin Hennig
Dec 27, 2015 Armin Hennig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aufgerundet auf fünf, um den Abstand zu einigen ganz netten Viersterne-Büchern zu markieren.
Ausführliche Rezi folgt später
Sep 02, 2007 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, engaging and quick read for a Latin teacher on the beach, with broader appeal too. There's good reason he's a bestseller. Imperium tells two episodes from the life of famous Roman lawyer & orator Cicero from the eyes of his personal scribe, Tiro. First, the lawsuit that gave him fame, his successful prosecution of the corrupt Verres, who extorted millions while governor of Sicily. Second, the back-room dealings and political drama leading up to Cicero's election as consul in ...more
This has been my first book from this author and I have been very favorably impressed. I’d like to say that I should have read a book by him sooner but I have so many I want to read that I’d just be fooling myself if I thought I would have.
The story is told or actually written by Cicero’s loyal slave Tiro at the end of his life. This part of the tale is of Cicero’s climb to the top of Roman politics.
I found the portrayal of Cicero and Roman life very real. The depiction of Cicero as both a man
Feb 14, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the first of his Cicero trilogy Robert Harris tells the story of Cicero through the eyes of his amanuensis and slave, Tiro. The events of the novel are well documented in history, but here Cicero's story is granted a kind of credibility that only well-written fiction is allowed. Rather than addressing the questions of subjectivity and interpretation that historical documents inevitably raise, the reader is free to believe Harris's wondrous conceit that Tiro was able to faithfully transcribe a ...more
I love historical fiction and over the years I’ve read quite a lot of it, including novels set in Ancient Rome, so I’m familiar with the characters in this book, but not about all the details that Robert Harris has packed into Imperium.

Beginning in 79 BC, this book set in the Republican era is a fictional biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero by Tiro, his slave secretary. Tiro was a real person who did write a biography of Cicero, which has since been lost in the collapse of the Roman Empire. Tiro
Sarah u
I think it is the mark of a good historical novel that it can take a story that one knows the ending to, and make the journey exciting and compelling.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Cicero is an historical figure I find fascinating, and I think this novel did his rise to glory and his intellect justice. Narrated by his secretary, Tiro, Cicero's great courtroom drama against Verres, his time as (view spoiler), and his (view spoiler)
Aug 06, 2009 an rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoar
Politik… selalu penuh korupsi, suap menyuap, saling menjilat dan bersilat lidah….

Pengalaman yg ditulis tiro tentang cicero serasa membawa peristiwa yg tjd lebih dari 2000 tahun yg lalu ke masa kini. Tetap sama. Situasi pergerakan politik demi memperebutkan kekuasaan tak pernah berubah. Akan tetap diwarnai tarian indah dan keluwesan dalam memainkan na.

Ada beberapa buku yg menceritakan tentang ketidakadilan yg dipandang dari sudut pandang penerima ketidakadilan. Namun pd kisah ini ditampilkan sudu
Sam Quixote
Jan 01, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the dying days of the Roman Republic, Marcus Cicero begins his ascent through the ranks of the senate to become one of the most powerful men in Rome. But the path to becoming the famous orator we now know is strewn with dangerous men who would see a high-minded lawyer dead in a ditch to get what they want. Men like Pompey and Julius Caesar who are looking to destroy democracy for a military dictatorship and absolute power.

Robert Harris writes another fantastic novel, his second Roman nov
Apr 29, 2016 Ram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Indah Threez Lestari
145 - 2014

#Program BUBU

Pertama kali dibeli dan dibaca pada tanggal 3 Maret 2009.


Novel ini seperti mesin waktu yang membawa kita kembali ke masa kejayaan Republik Romawi. Mengikuti lembar demi lembar kisah orator ulung Cicero meniti kariernya dari bawah hingga mencapai puncak kekuasaan, kita akan menyadari betapa besar pengaruh kebudayaan Romawi di masa modern ini. Betapa banyak istilah hukum dan pemerintahan yang masih digunakan saat ini (terutama hukum dan pemerinta
Apr 05, 2015 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. A very timely study of how republican government can gradually give way to dictatorship, and how that can be facilitated by a relatively virtuous individual if he is interested enough in attaining power for its own sake.

The characterizations are not that probing or vivid, and I thought there were missed opportunities with the narrator, the slave Tiro, who is so self-effacing I often forgot it was not Cicero himself who was narrating, and with Terentia and her relationship with Cicero
The first book in a trilogy, this is a compelling and highly enjoyable account of Cicero's rise to fame through political intriguing and sheer genius. The story is told by his servant, Tiro, who has some insight into what drives his master. If it lacks anything, it is that there is no real depth to the characters but that may be because the author is trying to stick to what did happen, or could plausibly have happened, rather than supposition and flights of imagination. 4.5 stars probably but a ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Political intrigue. Lying politicians. Treachery. Leaders using their positions to enrich themselves and to disenfranchise the populace. Vileness, back-stabbing. Bribery. Vote-buying and rigging. Modern America? Well yes, but also ancient Rome in the time of Cicero. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr hit the nail on the head. This is the first in a trilogy and is a great read, well-written, well-paced. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to the next two volumes. From Amazon:In his "most accomp ...more
Patrick Gibson
May 18, 2014 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Imperium charts the fictionalized political life of the Roman orator Cicero, and in doing so pushes the limits of historical fiction from drama, to mystery to political thriller. It reads quickly, and you'll find that you know the names of many of characters, which helps to keep from confusing the Roman names. And while the reader will get a healthy dose of Roman political vocabulary, Harris takes care to explain it all, and lends terminology enough context to keep the reader from having to turn ...more
Apr 28, 2016 Elly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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When does the next one in this series come out? 15 107 Oct 29, 2015 01:16PM  
New Up and Coming Authors? For example, see the book the topic is 'about' 1 12 May 29, 2014 10:08PM  
Who wants to enter politics? 2 22 Oct 31, 2013 09:51AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 2 16 Jun 20, 2012 02:15PM  
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ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his ...more
More about Robert Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Cicero (3 books)
  • Lustrum (Cicero, #2)
  • Dictator (Cicero, #3)

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“Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them.” 27 likes
“Cicero smiled at us. 'The art of life is to deal with problems as they arise, rather than destory one's spirit by worrying about them too far in advance. Especially tonight.” 21 likes
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