The purpose of the following paper is to present a review of the book Imperium written by Robert Harris. The book was being published on 4th of September in the year 2006. The book is generally the fictional biography of Cicero. This is one of the best narratives told on the ancient Rome. The publisher of the book is Hutchinson (Harris, 2006). There are a total of 416 pages in the book. The book was published at London. This book begins with the prosecution of Verres. The book is considered as the first book of the Cicero trilogy.
Review of the book
The general targeted audience of the book is the people who are interested in reading the ancient history on the civilizations of the world. Apart from that the researchers on the ancient history of the world are also the targeted audience. This book belongs to the historical genre. The author of the book Robert Harris was an English novelist who was born in the year 1957. He has worked as a journalist and he is also a television reporter of the BBC as well. In th beginning, he began writing his books on the non-fictional prose but later on he became famous by writing the historical fiction. He also became the editor of the newspaper Varsity published only for the students. Two of his best historical books were Pompeii and Imperium (Harris, 2006).
The plot of the book is quite intriguing indeed. The entire book is written in the first person narrative through the voice of Tiro who is the secretary of Cicero. This book presents a vivid description of the quest for glory of Cicero. He had to compete with some valiant warriors of his time like Pompey, Caesar, Crassus and many other powerful Romans (Harris, 2006). The plot can be taken as a political thriller and there have been very few physical dangers being shown in the book.
The narrator of the story Tiro is shown as a loyal, hard-working and intelligent character who has served Cicero for almost thirty six years. He is also brave at the need of the hour. The book is divided in two parts. The first part has been set in the time between 79 and 70 BC. The name of this first part of the book is Senator (Harris, 2006). The second part of the book is set between the times of 68 and 64 BC. The name of this part is Praetorian. The protagonist of the story is definitely Cicero whose actions and reactions are known from the voice of Tiro (Harris, 2006).
Cicero wants to become the senator and his quest for the glory has been discussed in this book. Another protagonist of the book is Sicilian. The mastery of fictional brilliance of the author Robert Harris has taken the narrative of the book to a whole new level altogether. Some of the basic political issues like the electoral corruption, adventures in the contemporary politics and several other issues have been discussed in this book as well. The treachery in the Roman politics has also been disclosed in the book in several ways as well.
The ruling of Rome has been an important issue in the proceeding of this book. At the time when Cicero was in the picture of Roman politics, the ruling power lied in the hands of the aristocratic people (Harris, 2006). There was not much power in the hands of the common people and this had resulted in the mastery of Cicero as he freed the country from the dictatorship of Julius Caesar. In this book it has also been discussed that the successful political career of Cicero was one of the most integral achievements in his political career (Harris, 2006). He brought back the republican government where the words of the common people were very significant from various aspects.
The Roman system of the checks and balances is also a very important matter for governing of the country. The implementation of this rule was done as the Roman Republic ws mainly governed by a wide range of wealthy merchants (Harris, 2006). This method had been used in the Roman republic in order to keep a good interrelationship between the common people of the country and the all the sections of the government. This term checks and balances had been coined by Charles Montesquieu. The Roman Senate consisted of the wealthy class and they were being checked by the veto power Tribunes. These people had been given the charge of protecting the rights of the plebeians or the common people indeed.
The character of the narrator of Tiro has been portrayed in a wonderful manner by the author Robert Harris (Harris, 2006). The cleverness of Cicero has been showcased wonderfully as well since it would really be highly fascinating since the political activities of Cicero have been shown in a fantastic manner. The ways in which he has advanced Pompey would be very much important for the development of the plot. The dramatic situations created in the plot in order to show the charisma of Cicero can be considered as a fantastic manner.
In his political career, Cicero had completely devoted himself to bring back the republican government in the throne of Rome (Harris, 2006). It is not always possible to take the moral decisions in the political spheres. Sometimes the decisions taken have to be immoral in order to do the good for the common people. In this context, it can be said that some of the decisions taken by Cicero have been highly immoral to gain the control from the hands of dictatorship of Julius Caesar (Harris, 2006). It was really difficult to live at Rome at that time since the complexities of life had been increasing due to the political affairs and Cicero only intended to establish a Roman society where the common people could voice their opinions.
In order to conclude it can be said that the portrayal of the ancient Rome has been quite extraordinary in this book Imperium. Not many books of such kind had been published with that kind of theme and narrative mastery. The author did not just tell a story but he also reflected the situation of Roman society during the ancient times.
Harris, R. (2006). Imperium. London: Hutchinson.