Ancient Rome and Roman Statesman Cicero

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In Imperium, the historical fiction novel by Robert Harris, there are many themes present that are a part of the SPICE model being used for AP World History curriculum. Throughout the book, a number of examples can be identified which demonstrate these themes. To choose three themes to focus on represented in the book, under the development and transformation of social structures there is social and economic classes, for state-building, expansion, and conflict (political) there is political structure and forms of governance, and with the development and interaction of cultures is belief systems, philosophies, and ideas.

The first theme is under the “social” generalization and is the existence of social and economic classes presented in the book. It is obvious that during that time period, such classes would have already been developed into society. The placement of one in the social ladder would depend on both their wealth and the life they were born into. For example, there was a bottom class of slaves that were being sold among wealthier people, all the way up to the top classes, which were generally claimed by those who had a spot on the senate. Just to be granted a seat you had to be in possession of at least a million sesterces. Cicero married into a family with riches far greater than that of his own, granting him enough money for a place on the senate. However, as Tiro did, one can work their way up on the social ladder differently. He was born “a household slave, born on the family estate in the hills near Arpinum, who had never even seen Rome (4)”, but by the time of Cicero’s death, Tiro was not known as a slave to him anymore, but instead, after travelling in his company for countless years, as the “secretary of the Roman statesman Cicero (3)” which is regarded much higher than a position of slavery.

A second theme running through the entirety of the book is one to do with politics, specifically having to do with political structure and forms of...
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