From the bestselling author of Pompeii comes the most provocative and brilliant novel of Rome and its power struggles since I, Claudius.
Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Marcus Cicero, the greatest orator of all time, who at the age of twenty-seven was determined to attain imperium -- supreme power in the state. At his side was the everpresent Tiro, the confidential secretary and slave, whose celebrated biography of his master was lost in the Dark Ages. Imperium is the re-creation of Tiro's vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's extraordinary quest for glory.
Tiro's cautionary tale begins on a cold November morning, when he opens the door to a terrified stranger, a victim of Sicily's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The stranger's arrival sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel Tiro's master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history, pitting Cicero against some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his -- or any other -- age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history.
Robert Harris, the world's master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own -- a world of Senate intrigue and electoral corruption, special prosecutors and political adventurism -- to describe how one clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable man fought to reach the top.