Roman Mysteries Wiki

Jonathan is one of Flavia Gemina's friends and the second in the four detectives to be introduced. He plays the barbiton.

Eli Machover as Jonathan.jpg

Family Members:

Mordecai ben Ezra: Father

Simeon ben Jonah: Uncle

Susannah bat Jonah: Mother

Miriam bat Mordecai: Sister


Early History

When Jonathan was 18 months old he fled Jerusalem with his father and sister shortly before it was besieged. His mother did not escape and was presumed dead by her family but she was actually a slave for the Emperor Titus.


Jonathan is down-to-earth and steady. He can sometimes look on the dark side of life, especially after the events in The Enemies of Jupiter, tending to think that everything is his fault. This also affects his sense of humor; he is funny throughout the series, however, his humor becomes progressively darker.
Jonathan is very intelligent and often uses his wit and intuition to get the detectives out of scrapes.
He is courageous, risking his life for his friends and family. In the later books, he becomes reckless with his life, putting its worth far below his loved ones'.


Jonathan can play the barbiton and often accompanies his friends when they play music.
He is shown to be talented at mathematics and engineering, for example when he devises the "float-rope" for Lupus in The Dolphins of Laurentum.

Physical Appearance

Jonathan is handsome, with olive skin and dark brown hair and eyes and big lips. He is muscular, especially after training to be a gladiator, but before that he had put weight on and was pudgy.

Jonathan has a brand on his arm from his time as a slave in the Golden House.



Polla Pulchra takes a liking to Jonathan the moment they meet.

Polla Pulchra shows love to Jonathan by giving him a free, priceless ruby ring.

Eli Machover as Jonathan


  • Jonathan is a male given name of Hebrew origin and means 'has given'.


  • Jonathan has asthma.
  • He is the sole introvert of the four detectives.
  • He is the second eldest of the four detectives, the eldest being Nubia.
  • He is the only uncle of the four detectives (Flavia is a cousin to the same boys, namely Popo and Soso).


Jonathan appears in, among others, the following novels: