The Roman Mysteries book series by Caroline Lawrence, published between 2001 and 2009, is a sort of ancient-history version of Enid Blyton, featuring four children who act as detectives solving mysteries together, while also teaching the readers about life in ancient Rome (Greece, Egypt, etc.). It was adapted into a TV series in 2007, with a second season running in 2008.

How different is the TV adaptation from the original books?

The TV series is something I might be interested in watching, but I'm a canon purist who gets irritated when adaptations differ too much from the original source material, so a list of all the main differences would help me a lot in making my decision.


1 Answer 1


I'm posting an answer myself since nobody else has done so after a month. More answers will still be appreciated.

The Wikipedia page for the TV series has a list of differences from the books:

  • 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 of "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 movie 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 dumb down the role of adults, with the notable exception of Doctor Mordecai, Flavia's father no longer pays the extra amount demanded for Nubia and the warm reception she then receives from the house cook is turned into one of hostility and rebute.

This is all I've been able to find on the internet. Somebody who's both read the books and watched the TV series may be able to give a longer and more complete list.

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