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Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Cicero #2)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  5,344 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Conspirata is "a portrait of ancient politics as a blood sport," raves the New York Times. As he did with Imperium, Robert Harris again turns Roman history into a gripping thriller as Cicero faces a new power struggle in a world filled with treachery, violence, and vengeance.

On the eve of Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, a grisly discovery sends fear rippling thro
Paperback, 376 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Gallery Books (first published 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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Elizabeth Theiss
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
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
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.
Fanda Kutubuku
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
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
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
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.

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
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
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
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
Another outstanding book by Robert Harris. What I find most disconcerting is to find that nothing much has changed in politics, or life for that matter, since 63BC. The conniving, cheating, corruption, etc. is as rife today as it was then. It seems, as a species, we are unable to learn from the errors of those who went before us. That is such a depressing realization. I despair.
Lisa Jackson
I think this book was either released under a different title in the US, or they changed the title before publication b/c the version that I read was called Conspirata.

I found this book engaging and based on my somewhat limited knowledge of the time period, it seemed fairly historically accurate. It is always interesting to see historical figures brought to life in fiction and though I know that Tulio, Cicero's secretary, isn't well known and what he wrote that still exists is about Cicero, I w
Avel Rudenko
I have been a fan of Robert Harris' work since his excellent "Fatherland," and have come to depend on anything bearing his name as not just a good read but a well done diversion from the morning news. In "Conspirata/Lustrum" we find a gripping tale of dark political plots, assassinations both of character and terminally physical, and emotion churning revenge served decidedly cold.
The reader cannot help but find parallels in Harris' Rome and our Washington, which makes this novel all the more ch
Flip Owen
An enjoyable romp through history :-)
Indah Threez Lestari
1000th - 2011

Tak menyesal aku sengaja menyimpan novel ini sebagai buku ke-1000, target buku (nonkomik) yang kubaca tahun ini. Bahkan aku tak kuasa menahan airmata yang tergenang saat tiba di akhir novel, yang menandai hancurnya Republik Roma dan berdirinya Kekaisaran Romawi.

Memang sulit berusaha tetap lurus dan bersih di dalam kotornya politik kekuasaan, perlu kompromi-kompromi yang bertentangan dengan hati nurani. Pada akhirnya, seberapa banyak manusia yang dapat menolak kekuasaan dan keselamat
This audio book was 'read' during a cross country (TX to CA) road trip, pretty much in one day (14 hours). I had not realized that this was part of a trilogy, so my first impression wasn't really that high (2 stars would have been generous). But upon learning that I had missed out on the first part of a larger work, I began to think that it was actually a pretty good historical novel, crammed with plenty of historical facts, characters and places with which I was familiar from my classical histo ...more
In Conspirata Robert Harris has again written a novel of classical Rome that is rich with characters, atmosphere, historical detail, and plot. The book focuses on Cicero’s attempts to preserve the authority of the Roman Senate, and the Republic, against Caesar’s dictatorial machinations that flexibly reached both certain patrician quarters and vast tracts of the disenfranchised (but traditionally protected) popular classes, or plebes.

The major figures here are Cicero, Pompey the Great, Crassus,
Peter Auber
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The second volume of a trilogy, but the first that I have read, this book gripped me from page 1. Narrated by Tiro, Cicero's slave and secretary, this book embroils us in the life, and specifically the politics of ancient Rome at the time of Cicero, Caesar, Pompey and all those other characters about whom we perhaps know only a few dry facts from our history books. Roman political life at the time is depicted as brutal, corrupt, and with a set of rules that can change from day to day, dependsnt ...more
Joel Margolese
Another excellent history by Robert Harris. This novel picks up the story of Cicero as he becomes consul and the following years. This is a great way to digest Roman history at a point that really is pivotal to Western Civilization. While reading, I was struck by two recurring themes: How different would the next 2,000 years have been if only... (and there are several if only points), and that with Roman history, you just can't make this stuff up. If someone were to create a fiction, with a plot ...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” 2 likes
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