A Novel of Ancient Rome

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A tale inspired by the writings of Tiro, Cicero's confidential secretary, traces the life of the ancient Roman orator from his beginnings as a young lawyer through his competitions with Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus in the political arena.

& Taylor

A tale inspired by the writings of Tiro, Marcus Cicero's confidential secretary, traces the life of the famous ancient Roman orator and philosopher from his beginnings as a radical young lawyer through his competitions with such figures as Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus in the political arena. 350,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006
ISBN: 9780743266031
Branch Call Number: FICTION HARRIS
Characteristics: 305 p. : map ; 25 cm

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 30, 2017

In the first of his now-completed Cicero trilogy, Robert Harris uses his considerable narrative talents to take us into the world of ancient Rome. It is a world of Republican Democracy in the depths of intrigue: graft and political corruption, foul-tempered candidates, electoral meddling, special prosecutors, courtroom drama, backroom deals with political rivals and stunning reversals and betrayals (any of this history sound familiar?). The young statesman Cicero begins to rise the political ladder against the scheming backdrop of Crassus, Pompey, and a young Julius Caesar, and a cast of thousands.

May 22, 2017

I'm tacking this review onto all the books of this trilogy:

I'm stealing a section of a lengthy review I wrote for Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome 7 book series. I loved her books, and said of them:

" If you're interested in popularized Roman history, this is a treasure. The writing is good, if not quite up to the standard of Robert Graves' two volume set "I, Claudius," and "Claudius the God," or Robert Harris' Cicero trilogy. If you have read and enjoyed any of these, however, you MUST read them all - in chronological order, of course. It is particularly interesting that McCullough seems more or less in the Caesar-worshipping camp. He was a prodigy; he was too good at too many things, which in the end had a lot to do with his downfall. But what a magnificent creature he was!

However, Cicero was Caesar's mortal enemy, and Robert Harris' books tell much of the same story as we find in McCullough - from a diametrically opposed point of view."

And it's true, Harris is a more subtle and nuanced narrator. Perhaps it has partly to do with the narrator's voice, which is that of Tiro, Cicero's secretary. It lends immediacy and personal intensity, and can be an excellent literary device. Remember Watson and Holmes, Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolf.

I wish Harris had stretched it to four books.

Dec 09, 2016

The subject matter was interesting, but I do not like this writer's style.

Oct 12, 2016

Good account of Cicero, his life, and personality. But very slow reading. I am more used to Harris's books having more drama, more action, and more suspense. Still interesting to see Cicero's thought process as told by his closest associate his secretary and slave Tiro.

Jun 15, 2016

An interesting account of Cicero's rise to political greatness as recorded by his scribe. Good insights into many of the other well-known figures of the time: Caesar, Pompey, etc. As for the politics: well, some things never change!

Aug 17, 2014

This has been my first book from this author and I have been very favorably impressed. I’d like to say that I should have read a book by him sooner but I have so many I want to read that I’d just be fooling myself if I thought I would have.
The story is told or actually written by Cicero’s loyal slave Tiro at the end of his life. This part of the tale is of Cicero’s climb to the top of Roman politics.
I found the portrayal of Cicero and Roman life very real. The depiction of Cicero as both a man and the legend he would become gelled very well in the story. It was an absorbing book, well written and interesting.

Aug 12, 2012

While no scholar of the Republic era, I enjoyed this portrayal of the lawyer Cicero and the Roman Republic, and am looking forward to the following volumes. The reading of Simon Jones was a definite plus.

Mar 20, 2012

Cicero was a fence jumper!!! Julius Caesar was a hero!! Any writer who says otherwise is a complete idiota!!!

kevfarley Nov 03, 2011

Aside from the wonderful writing and impecable scholarship ,..
I repeatedly got the feeling "thats just the way it could have happened" , when Harris' fictional fill-ins puts us in a front row seat for the motives and machinations ...'behind-the-scenes' , that come down to us from the historical records.

Sep 22, 2010

One the most amazing reads you will ever have. A must for anyone with an interest in ancient roman politics!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top