Dictator

Author Rating:
4.5/5,
  • Author:
    Robert Harris
    Robert Harris is an accomplished author who has brought many great stories of Ancient Rome to life through fiction, but based soundly on fact. Here we have the final 15 years in the life of Cicero, lawyer, statesman, philosopher, powerhouse in Rome. Cicero’s influence has diminished and he constantly has to be cautious about who he sees and speaks to. Banished from Rome on pain of death he finds himself out of touch and out of his comfort zone. He was built to be the centre of political life in Rome and is lost without the intrigue.

    I am not going to go into the plot in any great detail as Harris does that far better than I can but Cicero finds that in the autumn of his life his power has gone, his influence so dissipated that he is now in danger of being killed just for showing face at the wrong place. This is a tale of political machinations, intrigue, bribery, murder, incest, extreme violence : pretty much the norm for Ancient Rome.

    Harris weaves a superb tale of deceit and intelligence taking Cicero from the ends of the Empire back to Rome and the political life on the Forum that he loves so well. Favours are demanded and repaid, bodies are shuffled off and ambitions run riot giving a scene of terror that makes one wonder how the Roman Empire could exist, never mind survive for so long.

    History tells us that eventually Cicero’s luck and favours ran out and that he was executed on the orders of the Emperor; he was beheaded and both hands cut off, which is a pretty final statement from the Emperor. But Cicero had lived life to the full and has left his mark indelibly on the history of the world; Harris brings is the full colour of that life in a wonderfully scripted and descriptive tale. Well worth the read, well worth having on your bookshelf.

    4.5 Mr MRHs for Cicero.

User Comments

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  1. Krazy_Ivan
    Cheers, I do like Harris's scribbles. If it's on Kindle, I'll be buying this tonight!
  2. Sixty
    'he was executed on the orders of the Emperor'

    Eh?
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Sixty
      He was killed in 43 BC mate. Well, before the establishment of the principate and likely on the orders of Marc Antony.
      Sixty, Mar 17, 2016
    3. Auld-Yin
      On the orders of the Triumvirate, one of whom was Marc Antony. The story being that MA told the soldiers, when they found him, to cut off his hands as they were the ones that wrote the Phillipics denouncing Marc Antony, regardless of the fact they were probably dictated to a scribe rather than written by Cicero.

      Still it was easier to use the word emporer as the Triumvirate had taken over after the assassination of the dictator Julius Caesar and acted in what we would see as emperor.
      Auld-Yin, Mar 17, 2016
    4. Auld-Yin
      If people read the book they will get the gist! ;)
      Auld-Yin, Mar 17, 2016