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Lustrum (Cicero #2)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,875 Ratings  ·  559 Reviews
The second book in the stunning Roman Empire trilogy by Robert Harris, author of the acclaimed bestsellers Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium and The Ghost.

It is 63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is devoted to uncovering and thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow the state, ostensibly led by Crassus and a group of disaffec
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Hutchinson (first published November 2009)
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Dhanvanthari Manjunath Dont have much to add to what others have said,If you are in to historical and political fiction this is a great read, does not have a lot of "action"…moreDont have much to add to what others have said,If you are in to historical and political fiction this is a great read, does not have a lot of "action" but definitely page turner.(less)

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Mar 14, 2013 Kalliope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the second volume of the Cicero trilogy. The first is Imperium and the third has not been published yet. The title of Lustrum used for the UK market refers to the five years in Cicero’s life from the moment Cicero became Consul (63-58BC). In the US it has been published as Conspirata. The choice of titles for either side of the Atlantic invites speculation.

Lustrum presents a different Cicero from the one we saw in the first volume. In Imperium we could witness the orator’s climb thr
May 02, 2011 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of a gifted orator who is legally elected to lead his country during a time of great crisis, but faces incredible opposition from powerful people who use a variety of dirty tricks and propaganda techniques to enrage mobs of stupid people to subvert the law and government so they can seize power for themselves.

Oh, and it’s set in ancient Rome. I wonder why it seems so familiar today?

Robert Harris second novel about Cicero uses Roman intrigue and power plays as the back drop for
May 11, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far Robert Harris' best novel about ancient Rome so far. Like it's predecessors it is scrupulously accurate, but unlike them, it is also genuinely exciting, with vivid scenes and living, believable characters. This one shows the great orator Cicero at the highest and then the lowest points of his career--first the defeat of Catiline's conspiracy with Cicero given the great honor of being named "pater patriae"--then just a few years later his being driven into exile by his political en ...more
May 29, 2010 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunnit
Well I was very excited to see this book and that Imperium was not meant to be standalone and is instead first in a series (going to guess that there might be one or most likely two more books left to go), since my main complaint with Imperium was that I wanted more. It took me a while to get into this one, the sequel, which is unusual for me when it comes to Robert Harris.

Not sure what it was that mildly irked me--I think he was taking steps to humanize Tiro more and make him a character than
Ethan Casey
Once upon a time, novelists could be simultaneously serious and popular. Hemingway comes to mind, but even moreso Steinbeck, who had less literary pretension and more sustained and pointed topical engagement. Graham Greene aimed at once for contemporary relevance and durability, and more often than not hit the bull's-eye with later novels such asThe Quiet American, The Comedians, and The Human Factor. Lesser, or at least less remembered, writers such as Morris West and Nevil Shute took seriously ...more
Kenny Bellew
May 27, 2016 Kenny Bellew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd Robert Harris Historical Fiction I've read, and I'm becoming a huge fan. This book is rated 4.10 / 5.0 on GoodReads and is 464 pages.

You don't have to enjoy history to love this book. The story pulls its own weight. That's what I enjoy about Harris' writing.

This covers a time period of around 63BCE, when Cicero was Consul of Rome. This story is about the struggle of Cicero dealing with the triumvirate of Caesar, general Pompey and the super-rich Crassus. I'm not sure it's techni
Mark O'Neill
This is the second part of an epic trilogy about Marcus Tullius Cicero, the famous Roman politician, lawyer and orator, as depicted by his secretary and servant Tiro. The first part, Imperium, dealt with Cicero's rise to power. This second part deals with his year as Rome Consul (basically Prime Minister of all Rome). The third part....well who knows? But I am guessing part three will all be about revenge.[return][return]As previously said, this book is a fictional account of what Tiro might hav ...more
Elizabeth Theiss
Aug 13, 2014 Elizabeth Theiss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, roman
A fictional account of Cicero's consulship and the years until his forced departure from Rome, written by his longtime slave and secretary, Tiro, Harris has again written a stupendous account of insider politics in the Senate. Tiro's narrative voice is generous but unsparing, exposing Cicero's greatness and pettiness.

It is hard not to draw parallels with contemporary politics, as populism is exploited; money of the wealthy buys election victories; and handsome men of dubious morals manipulate c
Apr 04, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the third of this trilogy first, as it happened, so it confused the history of how things run when I came back to read books one and two. Never mind. It was good to already be aware that Julius Caesar eventually gets his comeuppance in the third book, even if it didn't seem likely in the second.
As with the other two in the series this is a great read, whether you enjoy politics in history or not. The characters are vividly portrayed, and the events, both the factual ones and the fictiona
Jun 07, 2016 Thom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-series
The first volume (Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome) dealt with the rise of a hungry Cicero, whose wit and legal tactics impelled him to the office of Consul. This novel deals with the aftermath - death threats and a conspiracy while in office, the rise of Caesar and the founding of the Triumvirate. This Cicero has his power nibbled away and rests on his laurels for a bit too long while the Roman Republic crumbles around him. The story ends with the flight into exile.

The first two volumes make u
Excellent sequel to Imperium which I also loved. Robert Harris employs his gift as a story teller to write history the way it should be written, as a moment to moment series of decisions, mistakes and triumphs with an uncertain future. Cicero emerges as the giant of history that he is for all the right reasons in these books. Harris understands that the man who does the brave thing despite his nervousness is more heroic than the man (Caesar are you getting this?) who does the brave thing out of ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've often wondered why in Shakespeare's only play to feature Cicero as a character, Julius Caesar, he has a mute part, and the audience only finds out that he gave a speech in Greek, was not chosen as part of the conspiracy against Caesar, and then is proscribed dead. Strange way to represent one of history's most famous orators, one whose words and writing, according to Wikipedia, initiated the 14th century Renaissance. Robert Harris' second novel to delve into the his life and last sputtering ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Alisea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secondo libro della trilogia dedicata a Cicerone.
Ottimo romanzo storico, ottime le doti narrative dell'autore. La storia, narrata dallo schiavo Tirone, si dipana in modo scorrevole e avvincente riportando i fatti storici con incredibile ricchezza di dettagli frutto di accurate ricerche.
Non sfugge un certo parallelismo con la situazione politica odierna: oggi come allora compromessi, alleanze improbabili, interessi personali, sete di potere, complotti e scandali rendono difficile il lavoro di chi
reread as Dictator, the final Cicero novel has just been out and I wanted to get back in the flow of this series - I looked also through the first book, but like at the time I read it first, I wasn't that impressed as that one is a bit disjointed, but Conspirata (or Lustrum) was superb on this reread too so my original review below stands

(original review June 2010)
Excellent sequel to Imperium; the focus on the year of Cicero's Consulship and then the focus on the relationship with Clodius from
Michael Torpey
Aug 19, 2016 Michael Torpey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating historical novel about the dying days of the Roman Republic. Just as good as Imperium (#1), but more exciting - things are really getting serious. It's thrilling, addictive and readable, and by the end we were so hooked we had to start Dictator straight away.
Apr 12, 2014 Glenys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superb political thriller about Cicero in Ancient Rome, written with Harris's trademark skill, combining a really good read with impeccable historical research. I am left wanting to read some of Cicero's speeches and to find out what happened after his exile.
Paul Bennett
Jul 17, 2016 Paul Bennett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.8 stars...full review soon

The middle book of the trilogy, Conspirata encompasses Cicero's life during his Consulship and the subsequent fall out from the Catiline Conspiracy. Through the voice of Tiro, the uber secretary, the author continues an excellent reading experience chock full of history enhanced with intrigue and emotion. Cicero rides a stormy sea as he vacillates between victories, doubt, and a surprising predilection to turn his fears into heroic acts. The characters ring true, from
Jul 20, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Republic, if you can keep it," said Benjamin Franklin. I'm not sure if Ben was thinking at all about Roman failures in that regard, but the perils of politics and populism are all too apparent in this second Cicero book from Robert Harris. Tiro, Cicero's slave-scribe (and possible inventor of shorthand) returns as the narrator of the story, and just like in the previous book he becomes an understated hero. Cicero was not a perfect man, and Harris does not whitewash his purple parts -- Cicero ...more
Suzanne Arcand
Apr 19, 2016 Suzanne Arcand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 For those who enjoy reading about Cicero and the end of the Roman Republic. I thought my job was hard until I read about the job or a Roman consul.
Nicholas Parsons
As with the first book in the series, the pros are clear but unremarkable, either for their brilliance or otherwise. George Orwell would approve. The remarkable thing about this book, and its predecessor, is its adherence to the historical record, the way it conveys political nuance, and its reliance on English translations from original source text. On learning that the character who narrates the story is not only a literary device, but was A true person, his achievements part of the historical ...more
Aug 04, 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.
Fanda Kutubuku
Nov 10, 2011 Fanda Kutubuku rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-shelf, favorites
Kalau seri pertama kisah Cicero (Imperium) lebih fokus ke perjuangan Cicero hingga mencapai tempat btertinggi yang diimpikannya, Conspirata ini justru lebih banyak menguak karakter para tokoh di dalam kisah ini, termasuk juga Cicero. Terus terang saja, Conspirata jauh lebih emosional daripada Imperium, dan bab akhirnya sungguh menguras air mataku!

Masih bertema gonjang-ganjing politik republik Romawi Kuno di saat-saat akhir, sebelum menjadi kekaisaran yang diktator. Cicero kini menjadi konsul Rom
Aug 07, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The story was quite interesting and thought provoking and, let's face it, I'm a sucker for ancient Rome. I felt a bit disoriented since it covered some of the same period and events covered by Colleen McCullough in her excellent series about Caesar, but it had a very different viewpoint as this version portrays Caesar as very much interested in subverting the Roman republic's constitution from the get-go while McCullough portrays him as frustrated by jealous individuals ...more
Jul 19, 2011 will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book about Cicero's life. There is a third to come. As is the way with trilogies, the first book is written with the intention of making us love the main character, love them enough to want to follow them through another two books. This book is the "second act", the book where all the odds are stacked against our hero, and he is left to face death/destruction/ruin. Obviously, come the third book, our hero will rise, phoenix like, from the ashes. However, knowing all this doesn ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Darkfienix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last summer I read Imperium by Robert Harris and found it an enjoyable, high quality offering. Therefore I was looking forward to the author’s second book covering the career heights, and subsequent fall from grace, of one of Rome’s most talented orators, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

The novel follows loosely on from Imperium but it isn’t necessary to have read this first. Lustrum can be read as a stand alone novel. The story starts where Imperium finished, with Cicero having been elected consul.

May 01, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sequel to Imperium, Lustrum deals with the career of Cicero after he has achieved the consulship. Like the previous volume, the narrator is Cicero’s slave and secretary, Tiro. The focus of the book is the rise of the triumvirate of Pompey, Crassus and Caesar, the beginning of the end of the Roman republic and the foreshadowing of imperial rule.

Harris certainly succeeds in bringing Ancient Rome to life and in showing us how much we still have in common with its citizens but, for me, this was no
Aug 02, 2010 Thermalsatsuma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
A lustrum is simply a period of five years - an important division of time in the Rome of the old Republic where terms of political office and governorships were strictly measured out with military precision. Confusingly enough the book was renamed as 'Conspirata' for the US market, which does not have quite the same resonance.

This book follows on almost directly from 'Imperium' with Marcus Tullius Cicero taking up his role as Roman Consol. He faces the ill omen of a brutally murdered slave bei
The second in Robert Harris's trilogy about the life of famed Roman orator Cicero, this picks up almost immediately after the final events of Imperium. The story is once again narrated by Cicero's secretary Tiro, and opens with Cicero enjoying an elevated social and political status as consul. This book covers five years in his career, hence the title; 'lustrum' was a Roman term for a five-year period, and this one is particularly significant since it encompasses both the dazzling highs and the ...more
Eileen Iciek
Apr 28, 2015 Eileen Iciek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second book by Robert Harris that I have read. The first one, about Pompeii, was pretty good but had a weak ending. This one, though, was spectacular. It covers several years, starting with when Cicero became Consul of Rome and ending when he is exiled. So many novels extol Julius Caesar, but this one really tells the other side of his story. He had great abilities and greater ambition, which did not always bode well for the Roman republic.

The story is told from the POV of Cice
Dec 29, 2012 Chanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's not fair that I mark this as read because I didn't actually read it. I got a little over an hour in and caught myself mentally bearing up to make it through it. I got all the way through the first one (Imperium) but it was like eating a never-ending plate of broccoli so when I started the second one I suppose my subconscious recognized that I may need a little shoring up to make it through. And then it hit me-hey, I'm a grown up and if I don't want to read this based solely on the fact that ...more
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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)
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Cicero, #1)
  • Dictator (Cicero, #3)

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“Surely the greatest mercy granted us by Providence is our ignorance of the future. Imagine if we knew the outcome of our hopes and plans, or could see the manner in which we are doomed to die - how ruined our lives would be! Instead we live on dumbly from day to day as happily as animals. But all things must come to dust eventually. No human being, no system, no age is impervious to this law; everything beneath the stars will perish; the hardest rock will be worn away. Nothing endures but words.” 5 likes
“any rash fool can be a hero if he sets no value on his life, or hasn't the wit to appreciate danger. But to understand the risk, perhaps even to flinch at first, but then to summon the strength to face them down - that in my opinion is the most commendable form of valour” 4 likes
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