Imperium : A Novel of Ancient Rome
From the bestselling author of Pompeii comes the first volume in an exciting new trilogy set in ancient Rome - an imaginary biography of Cicero, Rome's first and greatest politician.
Of all the great figures of Roman times, none was more fascinating or attractive than Marcus Cicero. A brilliant lawyer and orator, a famous wit and philosopher, he launched himself at the age of twenty-seven into the violent, treacherous world of Roman politics. Cicero was determined to attain imperium, the supreme power in the state. Beside him at all times in his struggle to reach the top - the office of Consul - was his confidential secretary, Tiro. An accomplished man, Tiro was the inventor of shorthand and the author of numerous books, including a famous life of Cicero, unfortunately lost in the Dark Ages.
In Imperium, Robert Harris recreates Tiro's vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's rise to power, from radical young lawyer to first citizen of Rome, competing with men such as Pompey, Caesar, Crassus and Cato.
Harris's Cicero is an immensely sympathetic figure. In his introduction to this imaginary memoir, Taro states: "Cicero was unique in the history of the Roman republic in that he pursued supreme power with no resources to help him apart from his own talent... All he had was his voice, and by sheer effort of will, he turned it into the most famous voice in the world."