‘When ambitious psychopaths get control democracy goes wrong’ – a thought from author Robert Harris, whose trilogy of novels about power and ambition in Ancient Rome has been dramatized for the stage. He said when he wrote it he had “absolutely no idea the parallels with Brexit and President Trump would be so obvious”. Rome had been a Republic for centuries ruled by an intellectual elite until it was torn apart by populists whipping up the mob and within 25 years had become a dictatorship with an Emperor.
The self-glorifying Pompey is given a Trump-like head of hair, Cicero is condemned as an “enemy of the people” for being moderate and the dithering Brutus, having stabbed Caesar, admits that “there is no plan”. “The people have swept away the old certainties,” Mark Antony says. “What matters now is who they’ll follow.”
Caesar, he thinks, is more like Putin “in his willingness to smash everything up, the identification of the state with himself, the sense that he’s running things with a network of cronies.” Jeremy Corbyn, he twinned with Cato, who would wander the streets of Rome barefoot, in the same clothes he’d worn for weeks and saw himself as a man of the people. “Michael Gove and his Brexiteers fall on the populist side and the Remainers are more Senatorial. That is the great division that has been thrown up in modern Britain that compares to the Roman republic.”
Harris was born 7 March 1957 in Nottingham into a working class family with a printer father, wanted to be a writer from an early age, went to Cambridge and worked for the BBC and newspapers as a journalist. He also wrote novels through his 20s and hit the big time with Fatherland, about a Britain after WW11 under a victorious Hitler, when he was 35. Thereafter he’s written more best-sellers on mainly political or historical subjects.
He’s a Sun Pisces in a hard-working square to Saturn in thoughtful Sagittarius; with Venus Mercury in Pisces trine Neptune. What drives his extraordinary output apart from his Saturn, is an ultra-determined Mars (Moon) in Taurus square Pluto and in a confidently enthusiastic trine to Jupiter in Virgo. He does have creative talent from marked 5th and 7th Harmonics.
Sadly Caesar’s chart – a Sun Cancer opposition Saturn (Uranus) in Capricorn square Neptune – does have some similarities to Putin’s. They are both highly Cardinal charts with Sun, Saturn, Neptune aspects and Jupiter in Taurus. Putin’s chart is more like King Richard 111.