Saturday, June 4, 2016

An unworthy end

By Robert Harris

Surprise, surprise! After a very long time, I got back to reading Robert Harris, that master of ancient history. Of course, I didn't have much of a choice: only a few months ago did he finish his Rome trilogy and, having read everything else by him, I was excited to get a hold of Dictator. And I was not disappointed: I can't remember the last time I read so voraciously!

Cicero - statesman, orator, absolutely loathed by Leftists worldwide, his life is the story of the rise and fall of the Roman Republic, and Dictator completed the journey Harris set out to recreate the lost story of that great Roman in his final years. And in that process, we meet the powerful characters that shapes Europe for centuries to come - Julius Caesar, Octavian, Mark Antony, and others, each of whom ultimately picked the flesh of the Republic to the bone, with Octavian finally burying the corpse and declaring himself Emperor Augustus.

But this novel is also about the rise, fall, rise, and final fall of Cicero, who truly showed the power of ideas and how to harness it. His death may be described as unworthy of one who has been through so much, but this trilogy was indeed a worthy dedication to him.

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