Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

Harris, Robert

Pocket, 2006

p. 10

Tiro recounts how fast Cicero talked and how fast, as secretary, he therefore had to record Cicero. So Tiro invented shorthand, including his beloved ampersand, eventually devising “a handbook of some four thousand symbols. “I found that Cicero was fond of repeating certain phrases, and these I learned to reduce to a line, or even a few dots—thus proving what most people already know, that politicians essentially say the same thing over and over again.” [Still true centuries later: in this collection see David Halberstam, The Fifties, on Thomas Dewey, who was fond of repeating that “the future lies ahead of us” and that “you can’t have freedom without liberty,” etc.]