Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Imperium (Cicero, #1)” as Want to Read:
Imperium (Cicero, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Imperium (Cicero #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  17,890 Ratings  ·  1,298 Reviews
Translator: Femmy Syahrani
Cover design: Marcel Adrianus

Kisah dimulai ketika Tiro, sekretaris pribadi senator Romawi, Marcus Tullius Cicero, membuka pintu pada suatu hari bulan November yang dingin dan menemukan seorang pria tua yang ketakutan, penduduk Sisilia yang menjadi korban perampokan gubernur Romawi korup, Verres. Orang itu meminta Cicero mewakilinya menuntut sang g
Paperback, 416 pages
Published 2008 by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Imperium, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Margaret T. Yes, especially if you keep a list of the characters in Imperium (there are a LOT of them) and something about them.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
Dec 31, 2015 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
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
May 04, 2008 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
Oct 20, 2015 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
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Mar 23, 2008 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
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
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
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
Nov 09, 2007 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
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars - Great book

The 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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 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
Pieter De vroe
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 stu ...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 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
Feb 22, 2010 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
Jul 06, 2014 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
Armin Hennig
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antike
Aufgerundet auf fünf, um den Abstand zu einigen ganz netten Viersterne-Büchern zu markieren.
Ausführliche Rezi folgt später
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
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.

Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
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.
Sam Quixote
Sep 10, 2012 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
Ubik 2.0
Per un romanzo ambientato nell'antica Roma ed avente come protagonista un grande personaggio storico dell'epoca, il confronto con Memorie di Adriano di Marguerite Yourcenar è inevitabile.

Purtroppo per Robert Harris e il suo Imperium... Perchè Adriano è un capolavoro della letteratura moderna avendo la grande capacità (che invece difetta ad Imperium) di riprodurre intatto lo spessore dell'epoca e di evocare il fascino dell'antica Roma e del suo spirito che travalica due millenni di storia dell'u
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I have a long shameful Cicero history. Absolutely hated him in high school and college, since I'm not that fabulous in Latin and found translating him both painful and boring. Then for some reason a few years back I read Anthony Everitt's biography on Cicero and discovered a whole new appreciation for him and felt bad for all the years of badmouthing.

So, I looked forward to this book--told from the viewpoint of the greatest secretary of all time, Tiro. Novel covers the Verres trial and the polit
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
When does the next one in this series come out? 15 113 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  
  • The Judgment of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa, #10)
  • Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4)
  • Eagle in the Snow
  • Caligula (Rufus, #1)
  • Terra Incognita (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #2)
  • SPQR I: The King's Gambit (SPQR #1)
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)
  • Conspirata (Cicero, #2)
  • Dictator (Cicero, #3)
“Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them.” 32 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.” 26 likes
More quotes…