Roman Mysteries (TV Series)
The Roman Mysteries


Caroline Lawrence


Paul Marcus


Cross Wyre

Country of Origin

United Kingdom

Original Language

British English

Number of Seasons


Number of Episodes


Roman Mysteries is a television series based on Caroline Lawrence's series. It is reportedly the most expensive British children's TV series to date, at £1 million per hour.


The series is divided into "scrolls", each based on one book, starting with The Secrets of Vesuvius. The stories are told in the same order as the book series, except for book 6, The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina, which is transposed to the second season. The Sirens of Surrentum and The Charioteer of Delphi, books 11 and 12 respectively, were not adapted, and the series ends with the adaptation of The Slave-girl from Jerusalem. Each scroll consists of two half-hour episodes.

Episode ListEdit

Season 1:

  • Scroll One: The Secrets of Vesuvius (first broadcast 8 May 2007)
  • Scroll Two: The Pirates of Pompeii (first broadcast 3 July 2007)
  • Scroll Three: The Assassins of Rome (first broadcast 17 July 2007)
  • Scroll Four: The Dolphins of Laurentum (first broadcast 31 July 2007)
  • Scroll Five: The Enemies of Jupiter (first broadcast 14 August 2007)

Season 2:

  • Scroll One: The Gladiators of Capua (first UK broadcast 8 July 2008)
  • Scroll Two: The Twelve Trials of Flavia Gemina (first UK broadcast 15 July 2008)
  • Scroll Three: The Colossus of Rhodes (first UK broadcast 29 July 2008)
  • Scroll Four: The Fugitive from Corinth (first UK broadcast 19 August 2008)
  • Scroll Five: The Slave Girl from Jerusalem (first UK broadcast 2 September 2008)

Main Cast ListEdit

"Scroll One: The Secrets of Vesuvius" guest-starred Simon Callow as Pliny the Elder.


The series was first broadcast on BBC One, from the 8th of May 2007 to the 2nd of September 2008.

On 22 May 2007, after just two episodes, Anne Foy announced on CBBC on BBC One that the show has been postponed due to recent events in the news and would return later in the year on CBBC on BBC One. Since "The Pirates of Pompeii" was about children being kidnapped, the postponement was most likely due to the then recent disappearance of Madeleine McCann. On 19 June the series began broadcasting again from the beginning.

Both seasons are now out on DVD.

International DistributionEdit

The series has been sold around the world including Australia, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the USA and Ireland. The second season aired first in Australia.

Production DetailsEdit


Executive Producers

Jon East
David Hunt
Keith Littler


David Ball
Martyn Auty
Paul Marcus


Adam Green

The first series began filming in June 2006 and was first broadcast from 8 May 2007.

Filming for the second season began on 13 August 2007. The episodes are based on the novels The Gladiators from Capua, The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Fugitive from Corinth and The Slave-girl from Jerusalem.

Both seasons were filmed in Malta, Tunisia and Bulgaria.

Differences from the BooksEdit

  • The children are older.
  • Lupus is mute but his tongue has not been cut out.
  • Because The Thieves of Ostia was not adapted, the meeting of the children takes place at a different time (just before the eruption of Vesuvius) and under different circumstances.
  • In the book The Assassins of Rome, Simeon is dragged off to be tortured but gets rescued (by Titus) before he is maimed or blinded as was threatened. In the TV series he doesn't get rescued. Although it was improbable for him ever to have been rescued, this is a major plot-change.
  • Jonathan returns home at the end of "The Enemies of Jupiter".
  • "The Gladiators of Capua" and "The Fugitive from Corinth" are set in Ostia, rather than Rome and Greece, respectively.
  • Pulchra appears in "The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina" in Jonathan's place.
  • Several minor characters have been omitted or combined for the television episodes.
  • In "The Slave Girl from Jerusalem", a new character, Floridius (played by Mark Benton), was introduced for comic relief.
  • When bought as a slave, Nubia's head has not been shaved and she is clothed.
  • There is a deliberate effort to decrease the role of adults, with the notable exception of Doctor Mordecai, Flavia's father, Marcus, no longer pays the extra amount demanded for Nubia and the warm reception she then receives from Alma is turned into one of hostility and rebute.