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The Roman Mysteries is a series of historical novels for children by Caroline Lawrence. The first book, The Thieves of Ostia, was published in 2001, finishing with The Man from Pomegranate Street, published in 2009, and 17 more novels were planned, plus a number of "mini-mysteries" and companion titles.

The books take place in the ancient Roman Empire during the reign of the Emperor Titus. They detail the adventures of four children who solve mysteries and have adventures in Ostia, Rome, Greece, and beyond: Flavia, a Roman girl who lives in Ostia; Nubia, a slave girl from Africa; Jonathan, a Jewish boy; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy.




The four detectives

  • Nubia: An African girl, former slave of Flavia.
  • Flavia Gemina: A rich Roman girl.
  • Jonathan ben Mordecai: A kind but pessimistic Jewish boy.
  • Lupus: A mute beggar boy.

Characters based on historical persons


  1. The Thieves of Ostia (2001)
  2. The Secrets of Vesuvius (2001)
  3. The Pirates of Pompeii (2002)
  4. The Assassins of Rome (2002)
  5. The Dolphins of Laurentum (2003)
  6. The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina (2003)
  7. The Enemies of Jupiter (2003)
  8. The Gladiators from Capua (2004)
  9. The Colossus of Rhodes (2005)
  10. The Fugitive from Corinth (2005)
  11. The Sirens of Surrentum (2006)
  12. The Charioteer of Delphi (2006)
  13. The Slave-girl from Jerusalem (2007)
  14. The Beggar of Volubilis (2008)
  15. The Scribes from Alexandria (2008)
  16. The Prophet from Ephesus(2009)
  17. The Man from Pomegranate Street (2009)


  1. The Roman Mysteries Omnibus I: The Thieves of Ostia, the Secrets of Vesuvius and the Pirates of Pompeii
  2. The Roman Mysteries Omnibus II: The Assassins of Rome, the Dolphins of Laurentum, the Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina.


  1. Bread and Circuses (short story published in 2003 in The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunits); re-published as a novella, titled The Code of Romulus for World Book Day in April 2007)
  2. Trimalchio's Feast and other mini-mysteries (2007)
  3. The Legionary from Londinium and other mini-mysteries (planned publication date September 2009)

Companion books

  1. The First Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
  2. The Second Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
  3. The Roman Mysteries Treasury (2007)
  4. From Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemina: Travels with Flavia Gemina (2008)

Sequel Trilogy

A sequel trilogy will be published, and the main characters will be Jonathan's twin nephews. The stories will be set in Roman Britain. The first book will be published in March 2010. The Trilogy is going to be called the Flavian Trilogy. The stories will be called The Brothers of Jackels, the Companion of Owls and the Prey of Lions

Special features

Each of the novels has at least one map of the area covered in the story, sometimes also plans or diagrams; these are by Richard Russell Lawrence. The chapters are called scrolls, after the rolls of papyrus which were Roman 'books', and are numbered with Roman numerals. The glossary explaining Roman terms is called "Aristo's Scroll", after Flavia's tutor, and the author's note, which separates fact from fiction, is called "The Last Scroll".


A series of movies has been planned. The Producers have said the movies will never be made as of November 31 2009.

TV series

The BBC produces a television series based on the books, entitled Roman Mysteries. The first season was broadcast in 2007, the second season in 2008.[1]


External links


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