The Last Day of Marcus Tullius Cicero
Cicero—lawyer, politician, philosopher, former consul of the Roman Republic, and man on the run. Just a year after the assassination of the dictator Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son have allied, sealing their friendship with names given up to each other's hit men. At the top of Antony's list—Marcus Tullius Cicero.
With Cicero flees Leonidas, a longtime slave of the great statesman's household. On the morning of Cicero's last day, Leonidas anticipates a reunion with Clementia, whom he hopes to marry, if only their master lives long enough to free them. But assassins are closing in, the last escape routes are closing, despairing allies have killed themselves, and not everyone Cicero trusts may be loyal.
The Last Day of Marcus Tullius Cicero is a riveting, vividly realized historical novella.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
Deftly and smoothly written novella: an account of the last few hours of the life of Cicero, as told by his Thracian slave, Leonidas. Having been proscribed, Cicero goes into exile on his estate near Formiae—the only one of his properties left unburnt during a previous exile. His brother and nephew are killed and he is betrayed by his brother's freedman. While attempting to escape, soldiers come to murder him on the orders of Marcus Antonius and do the deed, cutting off head and hands. I feel the love story between Leonidas and the Germanic slave, Clementia, was inserted to show that Leonidas is torn between his duty to Cicero and his love for her. Highly recommended.
—Jane at Goodreads
A quick, easy read—Jordan Poss is a gifted action writer. The love story feels a little shoehorned, but the story is well-told, and the passages on virtue lend weight to the ending. The author's great with structure, with shaping scenes. I really like how the ending was handled; no spoilers but it did a great job of avoiding paint-by-numbers cliches and was well-textured.
The story gives a balanced view of the "a day in the life" of a Roman household impacted by the life and death of a great historical character. Reading this account of Cicero's last day reveals both social, political, economic, religious and artistic elements of Roman culture. The reader experiences this day through the eyes of Leonidas, a servant of Cicero. Even though the outcome of the day will be his master's violent death, the narrative has an element of suspense to engage the casual reader and make Leonidas a memorable character in this historic setting. It was an excellent story!
—Steven at Amazon.com
Outstanding book regarding Roman history. Well written.
—Theresa, a Goodreads giveaway winner
Easy to read, kept me interested. History comes alive. Glad I read it!
—Tena, a Goodreads giveaway winner
This is a great story about courage and citizenship in an age of corruption.
Jordan M. Poss is a historian who can also write fiction. "The Last Day of Marcus Tullius Cicero" is a very interesting and fast-paced novella set in the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar. Cicero, who was perhaps Rome's greatest orator, was a honest man whose bluntness had a way of alienating the power elite. He also had the misfortune of not backing the winning side during the Civil War that eventually led to Octavian being crowned as the first Emperor of Rome. I very much enjoyed the bantering between Cicero and his slave, Leonidas, who recounts the great Rhetorician's final conversations on the last day of his eventful life. Jordan M. Poss has a grasp on the turmoil that destroyed the Roman Republic and gave birth to the Roman Empire. I highly recommend this excellent book to all lovers of ancient history.
—Bud at Amazon.com