Conspirata : Imperium

  • by Robert Harris
  • Narrated by Simon Jones
  • Series: Imperium
  • 14 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the eve of Marcus Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. Felled by a hammer, his throat slit and his organs removed, the young slave appears to have been offered as a human sacrifice, forbidden as an abomination in the Roman Republic.
For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome's leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.
Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar - and it will take all the embattled consul's wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.
In this second novel of his Roman trilogy, following the best-selling Imperium, Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero's slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today's listeners, documenting a world not unlike our own - where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.


What the Critics Say

"Republican Rome, with all its grandeur and corruption, has rarely been made as vivid....The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomized in a thriller." (The Sunday Times, London)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not as good as the first installment

This is the book that follows the very entertaining Imperium. In Imperium we witnessed how Cicero used his gifts of oratory to ascend in the Roman Sentate. In Conspirata, we witness what Cicero does with his newly acquired power.

The story is told by Cicero's slave and secretary, Tiro. Tiro apparently really existed and is credited with developing a form of short hand and abbreviations such as etc. and eg that we still use today.

Cicero is a master of the political game and use his power of oratory, bribes, and spies to weave and scheme political plans to obtain what he wants, attack his enemies and protect his own position.

In Conspirata we experience Cicero when he is the most successful political figure in Rome and his fall from this position.

There is less of the brilliant oratory that was the strength of Imperium and there was more violence, deceit and cunning.
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- Stephen

Enjoyable Read

Having listened to Imperium, I hoped for a similar tone and pace and was not disappointed. The political intrigue was brilliantly described, and the perspective of Tiro nicely used to add a common man's commentary to the historical events portrayed. I've read Harris (The Ghost and Pompeii) and find nothing is lost in the audible version of his books. The narration is first rate. The only criticism is that the gaps between chapters seem to be a tad too long-- causing me to thing my battery had drained mid-story. I highly recommend this book.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-02-2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio