BookBrowse Reviews Imperium by Robert Harris

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Imperium

A Novel of Ancient Rome

By Robert Harris

Imperium
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Sep 2006,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2007,
    496 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Politics and corruption Roman-style. Not to be missed. Historical Fiction

Robert Harris's first three books were all set in the 20th century. For his fourth book he broke his own mold by taking readers back in time to the eruption of Vesuvius in the extremely enjoyable Pompeii; and it appears that he's planning to stay in the Roman Empire for sometime to come, as Imperium is the first volume of a projected trilogy that will span the last 25 years of the Roman republic. Imperium is narrated by the elderly Tiro (103 - 4 BC) formerly slave/secretary to the famous orator, statesman and political theorist Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) - an inspired touch as not only did Tiro exist, he was also the inventor of shorthand, a system he invented (or at least refined) in order to record Cicero's speeches verbatim, and there is evidence that he did actually write a biography of Cicero (which was sadly lost sometime in the Middle Ages).

We first ...

Did you know?

  • Tiro's system of shorthand is referred to as Tironian notes. The system was in use in monasteries up until the Medieval period, with the original 4,000 or so signs extended to about 13,000. It declined in use around 1100 AD but still existed in part as late as the 17th century. At least one symbol still lives on - the Tironian symbol for et (and) which looks a little like the number 7 is still used in Irish Gaelic as an abbreviation for "and".
  • You probably know that a Triumph (triumphus) was the highest honor that a military leader could be given. If awarded a Triumph the victor could enter the city riding on a chariot drawn by four horses, to the sound of a trumpet fanfare and would be crowned with a laurel wreath; but did you know that the second-class award was an Ovation (from the Latin "to rejoice"), in which the victor walked in on foot to the ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.