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Antiikin Rooma Taistelu vallasta Romaanisarja Euroopan syntyvaiheista alkaa vangitsevalla muotokuvalla Cicerosta Kunnianhimoinen nuori lainoppinut Cicero tahtoo vallan huipulle Rooman konsuliksi Cicero ei kuitenkaan ole sotilas ei aristokraatti eikä karismaattinen naistenmies Hänellä ei ole vaikutusvaltaa eikä omaisuuksia ja hänenlaiseensa nousukkaaseen suhtaudutaan poliittisissa piireissä varauksinCicero opettelee eroon änkytyksestään ja harjoittaa väsymättä puhetekniikkaansa Hän on päättänyt raivata tiensä vallan ytimeen – aseenaan sanatCover Image Artist Kansi Honi Werner


10 thoughts on “Imperium

  1. says:

    30 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 uickly as my self respect inhibitions on Teuila 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 exposition that would reuire careful reading Thus I was able to listen and stay engaged in the story while organizing my library on goodreads and keeping tabs on the basketball and hockey games on TV with the volume on mute Plus as a bonus with my headphones in my hands were free to hold my beerit was your classic win win though somebody should flog me for using that expression This is the first book in a trilogy set in ancient Rome during the time of the First Triumvirate ie Julius Caesar Pompey and Crassus By the way I could have just said ancient Rome but Triumvirate is such a tasty word that I thought it needed some air time Anyway the story is a fictional biography centering on the legendary orator Cicero as told by his private secretary Tiro Tiro we are told invented the concept of shorthand which provides a credible basis for him to be able to transcribe everything that he sees and hears as he follows Cicero around I found this to be a pretty effective plot device for showing the supposed accuracy of the narrative In this first book we meet a young Cicero at the beginning of his career Cicero is a junior Senator in the Roman Senate who has already garnered somewhat of a reputation as a brilliant speaker As a result he is sought out by a Sicilian merchant who has been robbed libeled and threatened with death by the corrupt Roman governor of Sicily named Verres After much begging cajoling and persuading the merchant eventually secures Cicero’s agreement to represent him in prosecuting the powerful governor From that fateful decision we follow Cicero as he makes allies and enemies and skillfully maneuvers his way through the uagmire giggity giggity of Roman politics and with each success gains stature and prominence within the Roman hierarchy I thought the descriptions of Rome and the background of Roman life while expectedly sparse were still interesting and kept my attention The book is certainly not a mechanism for one to obtain a detailed historical account of life in ancient Rome but since I didn't expect it to be I was not disappointed There was enough detail to place the narrative and provide general background for the story which is all the story called for Overall a good solid read If you are a fan of historical fiction this is book that I think you will enjoy If you are a scholar of ancient Rome and looking for insight and exposition on the details of ancient Rome this is not where you will find them For me I found it a light pleasant story and was never bored I also found the characters and the narrative compelling enough that I will likely continue on with the series to see what happens next Hope this helps


  2. says:

    Historical fiction writers are cursed They are not Robert GravesNonetheless 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 oneImperium is a gripping read particularly thanks to three brilliant scenes the Trial of Verres; Cicero’s Denouncement of Catilina; and Cicero’s election as Consul The book closes with this last one These scenes are brought to life magnificently so that at the end of the carefully staged rhetorical and theatrical interventions then by Cicero now brought to us by Harris we are ready to burst out clappingThese scenes have inspired painters in the past and may inspire cineastes in the future Robert Harris has collaborated with Roman Polansky in a couple of movies already Will they attempt this one?Anyway what withholds the fifth star is that Robert is Harris and not Graves The book has only a patina of Antiuity There certainly is a load of Latin sites characters and terms but one does not feel that Antiuity circulates through Harris’s veins These Latin references are the result of a serious but ring fenced research which has been stuck on top of or sueezed in between the plot dynamics at intervals lest we forget that we are dealing with AntiuityInstead what does circulate through Robert Harris’s veins is Politics For indeed the plot is a political plotting in which Harris has intricately mixed the moral beliefs with the political personal ambitions of his main character The result is that although the Cicero story and setting are fascinating to me the main interest of the book one suspects that the real pursuit of the book is contemporary UK’s? politics and fight for power Harris may be following a tradition I wonder who was really depicted in this drawing for Punch magazine in mid 19th century by John Leech


  3. says:

    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 perhaps with a bit of luck if the gods of Technology smile upon us you can hear for yourself hide spoiler


  4. says:

    I know this sounds weird but I love Cicero I love his elouent and passionate writing his love of books and his humanism There was no way I would not want to read some historical fiction about him especially when I saw that Harris wrote his trilogy on Cicero from the point of view of Tiro Cicero’s personal secretary wasn’t just a scribe he invented the system we now think of as shorthand and kept such a meticulous record of his master’s life that we owe most of what we know about Cicero to him And yes what I do for a living predisposes me to love long suffering assistants But let’s face it most great men and women would be lost without the person who keeps their notes and timetables in orderThe first arc of Cicero’s story as told by Harris is about the famous corruption case of Verres and the thorny process of election that brought him to the Senate – as well as the coming together of the First Triumvirate As his private secretary Tiro went everywhere with Cicero and tells the story of his master’s investigation in Sicily complicated political games and agile legal work in great detail Even if there isn’t much room in this kind of narrative for atmosphere Harris managed to make what can sound a bit dull preparing a corruption trial and campaigning for the senate elections pretty riveting – even if I already knew how the story unfoldedThe writing is good but not lyrical; after reading John Williams’ excellent “Augustus” it’s difficult not to compare the style Unlike Williams Harris did not try to emulate the classical writing style with all of its panache and vitriol and I admit that I missed it Having read some of Cicero’s writing I was hoping his elouence to shine a bit brighter on the page That said I find the story interesting enough to be on the look out for the seuelsThis is the kind of book that will appeal to fans of Roman history but people who are unfamiliar with the historical characters might struggle a bit with all the Latin names not to mention the ever fickle alliances that causes them to switch allegiances constantly 3 and a half stars


  5. says:

    At school history was always my favourite subject It didn’t so much feel that I was being taught something rather that I was being told stories – often interesting stories too And as a legacy of those days I’ve retained an interest in events that formed the world in which we live I read a reasonable amount of non fiction to fill the gaping holes in my knowledge but once in a while I like to pick up a book by someone like Robert Harris who is able to mix history with a little imagination This manages to remove any hint of the dryness you can sometimes get from lists of facts interspersed with the erudite views of whichever learned historian’s book you happen to have picked up No Harris and his like fill the gaps with what they imagined was done and said by the real life protagonists and weave this into a proper storyHere I was introduced to Marcus Tullius Cicero a Roman politician and lawyer The events covered in this book book one of three cover the years 79 64 BC At this point Rome was a republic and Cicero’s declared life goal was to reach the highest elected political office that of Consul There’s a good deal of skulduggery and a fair sprinkling of the violent acts that were ‘enjoyed’ by Romans at that time but there’s also courtroom drama and political intrigue It’s a rich mix indeed The tale comprises the recollections of a first person narrator Tiro was a slave and acted as secretary to Cicero He’d invented a version of shorthand and thus was able to document verbatim words spoken by his master and others he came into contact with In effect the author has mixed known historical events with fragments of real speeches and extracts from letters to weave a compelling account of this time It’s gripping stuff and to me it felt like a mix of a Grisham courtroom drama combined with the political double dealing of an episode of House of Cards I love this way of taking in historical events and Harris just does it so well I can’t wait to get my hands on book two


  6. says:

    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 fun But it comes down to nearly the same thing right? This is a very detailed carefully researched work about CiceroIt'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 him among other things to slyly inform you when the passage you've just read is the actual transcript of Cicero's speech which happens often He just has Tiro say something like And I am certain that the above speech is exactly as he told it because I wrote it down myself and the record still survives That sentence is exactly trueHarris's writing isn't always the most graceful he's better on plot than style but he's not incompetent Here's a great passage describing CiceroI pictured his uick thoughts running ahead in the way that water runs along the cracks in a tiled floor first onward and then spreading to either side blocked in one spot advancing in another widening and branching outThat's a very cool imageFor the most part at least Harris's research is meticulous The first half of the book culminates with the trial of Verres which I looked it up happened exactly as Harris writes it Unfortunately Harris seems to abandon historical authenticity toward the end of Imperium; without giving too much away the intrigue behind the climactic race for consulship is completely invented To my knowledge at least I'd love to be proven wrong here I researched it as best I could and it looks like the behind the scenes maneuvering was over other things entirelyStill I liked it enough that I'm totally looking forward to the second book in the trilogy


  7. says:

    Robert Harris is one of my favorite authors and ancient Rome is one of my top genres Earlier this year I read I Claudius and loved it and decided to read Book #1 on Harris's trilogy on the life of Cicero I love this book By the way did you know that Cicero means chick peas Lots of good stuff in here about the early career of Cicero up to his election of Counsel of Rome The book is divided into 2 parts with the first part paying attention to his early trials and ending with his election as Aedile of Rome with the second part detailing his rise to Consul Now this is historical fiction at its finest as the book is allegedly derived from the scrolls of Cicero's personal secretary Tiro who wrote a history of Cicero While those scrolls no longer exist they are referenced by Plutarch and others and so this is as close as we will get to actual historical detail Well written Tiro paints the picture that Cicero was the master of politics and if what is in this book is correct then Machiavelli had nothing on Cicero Wonderfully written with well portrayed characters this is a great novel that one should consider if you have any interest at all in the machinations of ancient Rome and the art of politics Cannot wait to read the next two books in the trilogy


  8. says:

    This is the first book in a series of three about Cicero 106 BC – 43 BC—Roman statesman and famed orator The three are books of historical fiction Here in the first we follow his career from senator to praetor to consul ending in the year 63 BC His close friend private secretary slave and scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro circa 94 BC – 4 BC relates the story of Cicero’s life Tiro is often referred to in Cicero’s letters and is known as the father of shorthand A trusted friend and euipped with such a skill he was Cicero’s constant companion and thus also a perfect one to tell us about Cicero Imperium the title of the first book is a Latin word It means in a broad sense the power to command Through government? Through political position? Through words? Words having the ability to speak well gives one power over others Mastery over words can be used to attain one’s goals The second in the series is titled Lustrum in the UK and Conspirata in the US This confused me and that is why I explain this here Dictator is the title of the lastThe very beginning of the book pulled me in most we are given a short review of how the youth had been educated As a student Cicero studied under Appolonius Molon learning Greek philosophy and poetry the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and the art of speaking elouently and forcefully the art of making one’s self heard and remembered We uickly grasp the importance of oratory Yet Cicero was a Roman and his career as a statesman is one about political maneuvering and power The focus shifts from the wisdom and teachings of Greek civilization to the power and politics characteristic of the Roman Empire It is here the focus remains What must Cicero do to succeed? How did he become a consul? Trained in the art of oratory he still had to maneuver in the politically controlled world of RomeCicero’s skill of oratory is mirrored in the lines of this book There are numerous lines of wisdom elegantly expressed To what extent we are given actual uotes I do not knowI wish an author’s note distinguishing between what is fact and what fiction had been added and in some way those lines that are uotes of Cicero should have been made identifiableWhile I liked the elegant prose at times the political scheming and maneuvering left me confused Similar sounding and lengthy Roman names were hard for me to keep straight The you are acuainted with life in Ancient Rome and its legal system the easier the book will be to follow I found the description of Roman life as it is presented in Pompeii The Life of a Roman Town by Mary Beard to be clearer This book l too gave three stars The audiobook is well narrated by Bill Wallis except that he does not clearly articulate Roman names Sometimes they are said too fast and sometimes they drone on so long you fail to hear the end Maybe this is why the names gave me trouble Otherwise the narration is good I have given the performance three stars He does not over dramatizeI did prefer the author’s An Officer and a Spy about the Dreyfus affair a lot That book I gave five starsMy review in a sentence? The oratory impressed me; the politics confused me


  9. says:

    Well I just finished listening to Imperium by Robert Harris Once 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 TiroSince 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 of Cicero with misgivings since Cicero is less than heroic in McCullough's books that tend to present Julius Caesar as the admirable characterHarris does not really change that perception of Cicero so much as provide the context for his opposition to Caesar and his fated alliance with the optimates the group of aristocrats who formed the core of the faction that opposed Caesar in the senate and eventually the civil warHowever despite the fact that Cicero was not a sympathetic protagonist I came to admire his tenacity in the face of social discrimination His efforts to joust legally and politically within a system heavily weighted in favor of the wealthy and powerful were eually commendableAs a new man Cicero could not rely on a long established patrician heritage to ease his climb up the coursus honorum to the seat of consul the ultimate imperium or symbol of authority in the empire He was also not militarily inclined so he did not seek the traditional path to political power through conuest either Instead he chooses to rely on his keen perception of political strategy and oratory skill to fight his way to the top through the law courts and Roman courts were as rife with personal danger both literally and politically as they were with bribery The obstacles Cicero faced extended to his personal life as wellMarried to an aristocratic wife Terentia Varrones Cicero often walked a thin line with his efforts to thwart the designs of rich governors who plundered provinces or attempted to bribe their way into office or out of trouble She often berated him for alienating her own social classTerentia maintained control of a huge dowry that was probably the primary reason Cicero married her But Cicero had to reuest a loan from her through her business manager as if she was just another moneylender in the forum At one point he had to present his entire legal defense to her to convince her she would get her money's worth In fact Cicero's wife was so hard nosed and autocratic I was surprised when half way through the book she has a thirtieth birthday I thought from her forceful behavior she must have been much olderThe confrontations in the courtroom the senate and the frenzied voting pens of the Campus Martius provide as much tension as a Roman battlefield and Harris does a masterful job of peopling these scenes with memorable characters He does not shy away from presenting Cicero's warts eitherCicero takes calculated risks to obtain his objectives but he is also a pragmatist and like most politicians must form and break alliances as opportunities present themselves Although he prosecutes a corrupt governor early in his career to gain stature as Rome's preeminent advocate Cicero later defends a corrupt governor to regain the favor of the moneyed classes as his year to run for consul approachesI was unaware of how deep seated an enemy Crassus was to Cicero at least as presented by Harris In fact Crassus was presented with a vicious edge dangerous than simply a wealthy wannabeI also found it ironic that Pompey had little affection for Cicero either even though both were new men Cicero aspired to become consul but he seemed satisfied with the overall structure of the Roman Republic He was appalled when Pompey pressured him to support Pompey's own attempt at wresting control of the empire from the aristocrats of the senate years before the civil war with Caesar with his campaign for the award of sweeping powers to eliminate an upsurge in pirate activity It must have seemed hipocritical to Cicero later when Pompey and the optimates opposed Julius Caesar on the grounds that he was attempting to take sole control of the empire although the book ended with Cicero's election to consulAnother surprise was the villainous portrayal of Catalina as a violent brute of a man who had openly murdered people who stood in his way I had kind of come to admire Catalina as the misunderstood sometimes rascal presented in Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder mystery Catalina's Riddle Now I'm going to have to do research of original sources to come to my own conclusion about this historical enigmaI had also always assumed that the aristocrats opposition to Caesar's proposed land reforms was based on greed In Imperium however Harris makes a plausible case for the aristocrats' fear of absolute power that Caesar would gain through the patron client relationships that would result from land redistributionHarris presents an absorbing study of politics and the culture of power in the late Roman Republic and I find Imperium to be a worthy successor to Harris' Pompeii


  10. says:

    For me this was a 5 star read Robert Harris has Tiro Cicero's scribeclerk 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 directionThere are uotable paragraphs every few pages Some humorous but most psychologically power pithy This is a dense novel Many names many placements numerous procedural expanses of litigation language parsed over dozens of offices for many years Most historical novel lovers probably will not enjoy this as much as I did for those very reasons but I'm sure they would still appreciate the scale of the read toward certain aspects of Cicero's core If nothing else for the oratory practices and window to public speaking as he develops But because the book IS in this linear in style so rigid stoic? So Roman Not at all in the action or fast pace of a modern plotted best seller But a decade's length trudge to a pinnacle What I love It's not overly translated or interpreted for modern ears It's context is NOT defined in language of 21st century emotive declarative or relative culture or morality It's what the law states and how that law's transgression is judged And by whom it is judged and euivocated to fair Street smarts of advertising marketing bribery Many and various practices of physical brutality Rome and the Empire as it existed with Pompey Crassus Catalina and numerous other characters of infamous names before the changes that ended a republican form and tumbled to a emperor insteadThe parallels for situational politics are too numerous to name them all The answer to the pirate swarms causing death and destruction issue is a close parallel to ISIS What will be the ultimate outcome for free stuff? If it actually comes from privatizing public holdings or formerly rich aristocrat's land? These people are a warning of what happens to any state which has a permanent staff of officials They begin as our servants and end up imagining themselves our mastersExcellent read I can't wait for Cicero#2