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Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also…

Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also titled "Conspirata") (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Robert Harris

Series: Cicero (2)

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1,181536,816 (3.88)68
Title:Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also titled "Conspirata")
Authors:Robert Harris
Info:Hutchinson (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Ancient History, Your library, Biography & History

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Lustrum by Robert Harris (2009)


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English (48)  Dutch (3)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All (53)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
An excellent political thriller taking place in Ancient Rome at the time of Caesar. Cicero balances the good of his country with his personal ambitions and goals. There is plenty of political intrigue, sexual scandals and illegal activities. There are a number of huge political and military leaders (Caesar, Pompey, Crassus etc) who have their own personal agendas. Excellent read from page 1 till the finish. Sometimes the good guys don't win or prosper in politics... ( )
  writemoves | Jul 16, 2017 |
Very disturbing opening scene.
  rakerman | May 22, 2017 |
Once again this was engrossing listening. Told through the eyes of Cicero's scribe Tiro, a slave, it has such a modern feel to it. Events that occurred in Rome over 2,000 years ago come to life. You need to begin this series at the beginning with IMPERIUM, and I have no doubt that we will continue to the final, DICTATOR.

At the beginning of LUSTRUM Cicero is Consul, truly the father of Rome, but he is also a man of principle, determined to root out corruption. He makes many enemies and from the beginning of his consulship there are those plotting his downfall, even his assassination. By the end of the book his chickens have come home to roost.

In Latin, the word Lustrum is a period of 5 years. The book covers Roman politics, and Cicero's fortunes, for the period roughly 63-58 BC. ( )
  smik | Mar 19, 2017 |
This is the second book in a historical fiction trilogy that focuses on the life and political career of Cicero, who was a central figure during the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. This installment describes the rise of the ruthless Gaius Julius Caesar. The narrative is engaging, and one feels that these well-known historical figures come to life. One lesson of this story is how quickly a civilization or society can be transformed (and not for the better) through one powerful person's selfish disregard for laws, customs, and traditions. Hmm, sound familiar? ( )
  proflinton | Jun 20, 2016 |
Lustrum by Robert Harris - good

Those that know me, know I'm quite obsessive about the near (by that I mean Mediterranean and Middle East) Ancient World and love to travel to see the remains of past glories. Surprisingly though, I know very little about the history of Republican Rome, so this book was very interesting for me as it fictionalises the life of Cicero through the eyes of his slave/secretary Tiro. That some of the characters are real is undoubted and the author has based the books on the speeches of Cicero. The story that is woven around these speeches can only be imagined - as with all historical fiction.

I found that Robert Harris brought the sights, sounds and, sadly, smells of Rome to life for me. I read his book Pompeii years ago in my pre-review era and found it a little far fetched and predictable (and I don't mean because Vesuvius erupted, more about his plotting round it), but also vividly enjoyable.

I didn't necessarily like all the characters that the author gave these people but I did like all the plotting and conniving that he gave them and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

The only downside: I only realised part way through, that I should have read Imperium (also on my bookshelf) first as it deals with Cicero's earlier life. Ah well, if I leave it long enough it shouldn't spoil it too much to read them in the wrong order.
( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Harris provides through Lustrum great insight into this exciting period of Roman history not only by echoing historical sources but by numerous psychologic zooms: a glimpse or a blink of an eye here, a whisper or a rumor there, and over all the ancient truth of evil omen.
"Harris, whose previous novels include “Pompeii” and the World War II thriller “Enigma,” doesn’t take the path of many other writers of historical fiction and provide copious, painstaking descriptions of meals, wardrobes, palaces and the like to summon a long-ago, far-away past."
Over the two millennia since his death Cicero has been many things to many readers – authoritarian, pedant, vacillator, self-doubting philosophical sceptic. Each generation makes its own Rome and its own Romans, and Harris's version of this endlessly fascinating figure is richly and generously enjoyable. I look forward to the conclusion of the trilogy.

For all its political insights, though, it is as a pure thriller that Lustrum stands or falls. In that respect, it succeeds splendidly. It may not be the best novel written about ancient Rome – I still prefer Gore Vidal and Allan Massie – but it is a damn good one: wry, clever, thoughtful, with a terrific sense of timing and eye for character. And even though I knew how the story ended, I found myself turning the pages faster and faster, a tribute not only to the intrinsic fascination of these extraordinary events, but also to the narrative skills of a master craftsman.
Lustrum is a serious piece of storytelling, enormously enjoyable to read, with an insider’s political tone.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barfod, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lie, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwart, JannekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us... but what if we're only an after-glow of them" -J. G. Farrell, "The Siege of Krishnapur"
To Peter
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Two days before the inauguration of Marcus Tullius Cicero as consul of Rome, the body of a child was pulled from the River Tiber, close to the boat sheds of the republican war fleet.
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Lustrum (UK) and Conspirata (US) are the same novel.
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63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is devoted to thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow the state. Underlying this is the great rivalry between Cicero and Caesar. As Caesar's power grows Cicero must face the inevitable compromises that come from holding power.… (more)

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