The Dictator by Robert Harris

Reviewed by Richard Goldman
Hardcover January 2016

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Robert Harris brings his excellent trilogy on Cicero to a satisfying conclusion with The Dictator. We open with Cicero's humiliating exile from Rome. Accompanied by his scribe, the slave Tiro, he wearily seeks refuge from one former friend after another but none will brave the retribution of the triumvirate that now rules Rome and whose wrath led to his exile. In riveting style, Harris leads us through some of the best-known and tumultuous turning points in Roman history including Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, his establishment as dictator and, of course, his eventual assassination. Harris, through his narrator Tiro, keeps a focus on the personal while still providing ample and clear explanation of the complex politics during this state of the Roman Empire.

Fans of historical writing can do no better than this forceful retelling of an exciting tale full of larger than life characters.