''The Roman Mysteries'' is a series of historical detective novels for children, written by Caroline Lawrence. It is set in UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire during the 1st century AD. The books follow four children who solve mysteries and have adventures in Ostia, Rome, and throughout the empire. The lead character, Flavia, a middle-class Roman girl who lives in Ostia, is a self-styled ''detectrix''. She is supported by Nubia, a slave girl from Africa; Jonathan, a Jewish boy; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy. Creator/{{CBBC}} adapted some of the books into a LiveActionTV [[Series/TheRomanMysteries show]].

Caroline Lawrence has started a sequal series called ''Literature/TheRomanMysteryScrolls'', written for a slightly younger audience. She is also the author of ''Literature/TheWesternMysteries''.


[[folder: The main novels of the Roman Mysteries series are: ]]

# ''The Thieves of Ostia'' (2001)
# ''The Secrets of Vesuvius'' (2001)
# ''The Pirates of Pompeii'' (2002)
# ''The Assassins of Rome'' (2002)
# ''The Dolphins of Laurentum'' (2003)
# ''The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina'' (2003)
# ''The Enemies of Jupiter'' (2003)
# ''The Gladiators from Capua'' (2004)
# ''The Colossus of Rhodes'' (2005)
# ''The Fugitive from Corinth'' (2005)
# ''The Sirens of Surrentum'' (2006)
# ''The Charioteer of Delphi'' (2006)
# ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem'' (2007)
# ''The Beggar of Volubilis'' (2008)
# ''The Scribes from Alexandria'' (2008)
# ''The Prophet from Ephesus'' (2009)
# ''The Man from Pomegranate Street'' (2009)


[[folder: Additional books include: ]]

* ''The Code of Romulus'' (2007): A novella published for World Book Day.
* ''Trimalchio's Feast and other mini-mysteries'' (2007): A collection of short stories.
** "The Case of the Missing Coin": Takes place after ''The Thieves of Ostia''
** "Trimalchio's Feast": Takes place after ''The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina''
** "Jonathan Vs. Ira": Takes place after ''The Enemies of Jupiter''
** "The Case of the Citrus-Wood Table": Takes place after ''The Gladiators from Capua''
** "The Case of the Talking Statue": Takes place after ''The Charioteer of Delphi''
** "Death By Vespasian": Takes place after ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem''
* ''The Roman Mysteries Treasury'' (2007): A companion book with [[AllThereInTheManual additional background information]] about the characters and factual information about UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire.
* ''Frome Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemini'' (2008): A travel guide to the places mentioned in the series, based on Caroline Lawrence's own experience doing research trips for her stories.
* ''The Legionary from Londinium and other mini-mysteries'' (2010): A collection of short stories.
** "The Moon in Full Daylight": Takes place after ''The Sirens of Surrentum''
** "The Legionary from Londinium": Takes place after ''The Sirens of Surrentum''
** "Death by Medusa": Takes place before ''The Charioteer of Delphi''
** "The Perseus Prophecy": Takes place after ''The Charioteer of Delphi''
** "The Five Barley Grains": Takes place before ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem''
** "Threptus and the Sacred Chickens": Takes place after ''The Man from Pomegranate Street''

The TV Episodes are listed at '''[[Series/TheRomanMysteries Roman Mysteries (TV series)]]'''.

!!The books series provide examples of:


[[folder:Tropes A though D]]
* ADayInTheLimelight: Aristo, the children's tutor gets one in ''The Fugitive from Corinth'' including delving into his BackStory. Miriam gets a turn in ''The Slavegirl from Jerusalem'' [[spoiler: especially as it ends with her death.]]
* AgeAppropriateAngst: There are several examples of this throughout the series, including Flavia's reaction to a {{Parent With New Paramour}} in ''The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina.''
* AllThereInTheManual: ''The Roman Mysteries Treasury'' contains additional information about the characters, their backgrounds and the setting (namely UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire),
* AmateurSleuth: Flavia and friends
* AndroclesLion: Played with. [[spoiler: A tame lion that is friendly with a character that has been sentenced to be eaten by lions is substituted for the wild man-eating lion.]]
* AppeaseTheVolcanoGod: The books actually give a real life twist on this common trope. Instead of virgin sacrifice, the Romans sacrifice fish as part of the Vulcanalia in ''The Secrets of Vesuvius.''
* ArrangedMarriage: Common practice during the time period in which the books are set, the marriage of Jonathan's parents is explicitly stated to have been arranged and many of the other marriages depicted were probably also arranged. [[spoiler: Although inverting the usual trope it's Mordecai - who enforced the arranged marriage - who comes off sympathetically rather than Suzannah.]] This custom causes conflict between Flavia and her father when her father wants to arrange a betrothal for her.
* ArtfulDodger: Lupus's life as a beggar boy and innate intelligence makes him sneaky and street smart.
* ArtifactAlias: Nubia is a former slave whose real name is Shepenwepet. She is renamed Nubia as that is the name given to all female Nubian slaves. Even after being freed, she continues to go by Nubia, saying "Nubia can be my new name for my new life."
* BearTrap: Poor Lupus gets stuck in a boar trap. Fortunately it is not bad as a BearTrap, but is was still pretty bad.
* BigBad: Some of the books have villains and others do not, however the villain whose kidnapping ring forms one of the recurring plot lines of the series is referred to by the characters is "The Big Buyer". [[spoiler: After the "Big Buyer" is captured, it is revealed that there is a "Bigger Buyer" who is in fact ultimately in charge of the slave ring.]]
* BigFancyHouse: Detailed descriptions of the housing of various characters, to include maps of the houses, are used both to indicate wealth and to educate about historic Roman housing. Villa Limona is a good example of a truly big and fancy house.
* TheBigGuy: Caudex is a large, strong slave who often acts as a bodyguard for the main characters.
* BilingualBonus: Many of the books contain some Latin words; however most are translated either in the main text or in the glossary. In one story, however, one of the clues requires an understanding of Latin. A character says a word that is [[TranslationConvention written in English]], however if the word is translated back into the Latin that he would have actually been speaking, it points to the identity of the killer.
* BirdsOfAFeather: Flavia and [[spoiler:Flaccus,]] who are both bossy and judgmental but also prove to be brave, kind-hearted and highly intelligent.
* BitterSweetEnding: [[spoiler: ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem'' and ''The Man from Pomegranate Street.'']]
** Specifically, the four detectives are [[spoiler: exiled from their homeland]] and Jonathan's nephew [[spoiler:is still missing three years later]]. This may be cleared up in future spin-offs.
* BondingOverMissingParents: There is a scene where the four children discuss their {{Missing Mom}}s and are reduced to tears.
* BonusMaterial: A glossary and a note from the author about the actual history behind the story is added to the end of each book. Some of the books also include maps and diagrams.
* BlackVikings: Averted in the books, which contain a realistic depictions of the racial and cultural mix of the Roman Empire. However, in the TV adaptation, there are two examples of black Roman patricians.
* BookWorm: Flavia is a big fan of reading. In the first book, she wanted a copy of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliny%27s_Natural_History Pliny's Natural History]]'' as her birthday present.
* BreakTheCutie: Nubia and Lupus's backstories where the first is enslaved and the second has his tongue cut out and is forced to become a beggar. Their lives improve in the present day however. In contrast Jonathan undergoes this within the series itself as he [[spoiler: gets branded as a slave, suffers gladiator training, has to carry the guilt of accidentally killing 20,000 people, loses his beloved sister and suffers weeks of ColdBloodedTorture. Of all the main characters he's the only one who doesn't get a proper happy ending and is still described as a wanderer in the DistantEpilogue.]]
* BreakingTheFellowship: This happens in ''The Scribes from Alexandria'', [[spoiler: when the main characters are split up by a shipwreck.]]
* TheCasanova: [[spoiler: Publius Pollus Felix, as revealed in ''The Sirens of Surrentum'', not only has sex with pretty much all his slavegirls (normal for Romans), but also with many of the free-born girls in the neighborhood, which was considered much less acceptable and is depicted as being predatory in nature.]]
* ChariotRace: Chariot races forms the center of the plot in ''The Charioteer of Delphi.''
* TheChase: ''The Colossus of Rhodes,'' ''The Fugitive from Corinth,'' ''The Scribes from Alexandria,'' and ''The Prophet from Ephesus.''
* ChekhovsVolcano: ''The Secrets of Vesuvius'' has the characters going to the area near Pompeii, just in time for the now famous eruption of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius Mount Vesuvius]].
* Myth/ClassicalMythology: All the books have both explicit references to Classical Myths and intentional parallels to the referenced myths within the story line.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: Part of the plot of ''The Man from Pomegranate Street''. [[spoiler: Played straight with secondary characters as virtually all of them - Marcus, Aristo, Diana and Pulchra - are married by the epilogue. Averted with the main four characters as neither Lupus or Jonathan are paired by the end of the book, Lupus because he's only twelve years old while Jonathan is implied to remain a wanderer all his life.]]
* ClearTheirName: ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem'' involves clearing the name of a slave-girl falsely accused or murder.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Discussed in ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem'' when Nubia almost gets tortured for information. [[spoiler: In''The Man From Pomegrante Street'' Jonathan suffers weeks of whipping and starvation to protect his father.]]
* ColorCodedCharacters: The four main character's clothing: Flavia almost always wear blue, Nubia wears yellow, Lupus green and Jonathan wears cream earlier on and brown as the series continues. This extends to secondary characters as Aristo wears [[{{RedIsHeroic}} red]], Miriam [[{{GracefulLadiesLikePurple}} purple]] and Pulchra [[{{PinkMeansFeminine}} pink]].
* CoolTeacher: Aristo
* CrossingTheDesert: ''The Beggar of Volubilis''
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: The Romans were big fans of this. Several historically accurate examples of particularly brutal and horrific executions appear ''The Gladiators from Capua''. Some of the examples include criminals being FedToTheBeast and EatenAlive. Sometimes this involves being ChainedToARock.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Both Lupus and Nubia suffered traumatic events in their past that continue to haunt them throughout the series.
* DarkerAndEdgier: As the series continues. The biggest shift occurs with ''The Enemies of Jupiter'' when [[spoiler: Jonathan intends to murder Titus, accidentally helps start the great fire of Rome and almost commits suicide.]]
* DeathbringerTheAdorable: [[spoiler: The rabbit in ''The Gladiators from Capua'' has a name that indicates it is a ferocious beast, but it is really just a harmless bunny.]]
* DeathByChildbirth: Flavia's mother, in Flavia's {{backstory}}, and [[spoiler: Miriam at the end of ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem'']] both die giving birth to twins.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild: Sometimes Flavia uses this trick during the course of an investigation.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: All the characters freak out over free Romans being kidnapped and enslaved, but most of them give little thought to the enslavement of non-Romans or those born to slavery. Notable exceptions are Nubia, who was herself a slave, and Dr. Mordecai, who is against all slavery. This is not an example of dissonance on the part of the author, but an accurate portrayal of the values of the time period. Likewise, it accurately presents Roman marriage customs and Roman views on {{Blood Sport}}s and execution as entertainment.
* DistantFinale: The final chapter of the last book skips several years from the end of the previous chapter.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Jonathan has prophetic dreams in several of the books. Flavia has a prophetic dream that forms the basis of ''The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina.'' A prophetic dream also plays a major role in ''The Enemies of Jupiter.''
* DrowningMySorrows: Several adult character do this.

[[folder:Tropes E though H]]
* EndingMemorialService: The funeral for [[spoiler: Miriam at the end of ''The Slave-girl of Jerusalem.]]
* EnthusiasmVersusStoicism: ''The Sirens of Surrentum'' explores the differences between the Classical Greco-Roman philosophies of Epicureanism and Stoicism, with examples of characters that actively pursue each of the two philosophies. The contrast might also be compared to EmotionsVsStoicism.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Both the series title and many of the individual story titles
* TheExoticDetective: Flavia is exotic in that she is a {{Kid Detective}} and an ancient Roman.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: In ''Trimalchio's Feast'' the titular monkey doesn't necessarily make things better, but he certainly makes things more chaotic and amusing.
* FairPlayWhodunnit: Most of the stories
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: HistoricalDomainCharacter [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Valerius_Flaccus Gaius Valerius Flaccus]] fakes his death in order to go into exile with Flavia and marry her, as part of the HappilyEverAfter ending. This is used by the author to overcome the fact that the RealLife Flaccus died shortly after the stories end.]]
** DeathFakedForYou: [[spoiler: This is done inadvertently. A boy that had stolen Jonathan's ring is killed in a fire. Finding his body makes everyone think that Jonathan is dead, which is fine with Jonathan because he wants to leave his identity behind and become a gladiator.]]
* FamousLastWords: RealLife Emperor Nero's [[FamousLastWords/RealLife Real Life Famous Last Words]] are referenced in ''The Beggar of Volubilis'', though it is suggested that they may have actually been something less grandiose. Emperor Vespasian's [[FamousLastWords/RealLife Real Life Famous Last Words]] are also quoted in ''The Thieves of Ostia'.'
* FatalFlaw: All the four main characters have one that causes various problems throughout the series. Flavia is bossy and judgmental, Jonathan [[{{GuiltComplex}} blames himself for everything and is pessimistic]], Nubia is too [[{{NaiveNewcomer}} naive and trusting]] and Lupus is [[{{HairTriggerTemper}} hot-tempered and impulsive.]]
* FeminineWomenCanCook: Alma and Miriam are the best cooks and play the most traditionally feminine roles in the story, especially by 1st Century Roman standards. Flavia, on the other hand, is hardly ever depicted cooking, partly because she is a {{Tomboy}} and partly because Alma does all the cooking for her family.
* FirstKiss: Flavia's first kiss is depicted in ''The Sirens of Surrentum''.
* [[{{FiveTokenBand}} Four Token Band]]: By Roman standards the four main TrueCompanions qualify - Flavia is a Roman citizen, Jonathan is a Christian of Jewish descent, Lupus is Greek and Nubia is an African slave.
* ForeignQueasine: Stuffed dormice and other exotic period food.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: This is actually explicitly stated in the books, which is justified because it takes place during a time period when doctors still believed in the four humors.
* FreeRangeChildren: The characters are often in situations where there is little adult supervision, especially toward the end of the series. However, this is not constant throughout the series, as there there are many situations where they do their detective work with adult supervision and help.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Nubia interacts well with animals and seems to has an empathy with them that sometimes borders on the supernatural.
* GeekyTurnOn: A few men are attracted to Flavia because of this, notably [[spoiler: Tranquillus and Flaccus.]]
* GentleGiant: Caudex, Monobaz
* GiantWallOfWateryDoom: This happens off screen as the result of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which results in [[spoiler: Marcus Flavius Geminus being shipwrecked and loosing his ship and all the money he had invested in his cargo, causing him to almost go bankrupt.]]
* GladiatorGames: Gladiator games form the central theme of ''The Gladiators from Capua.'' [[spoiler: Jonathan becomes a gladiator.]] Also a form of BloodSport.
* HairTriggerTemper: Lupus looses his temper easily, especially when people ask him about his past or mention his missing tongue.
* HappilyEverAfter: The end of the final book, where [[spoiler: Flavia get married. There is also an example of WealthyEverAfter, as the main characters have been given a luxurious villa and lots of money.]]
* HappinessInSlavery: Played with. The series shows both the brutal and the relatively benign sides of Roman slavery, however even slaves that treated kindly and like their masters wish to be set free.
* HappilyMarried: Flavia's parents before her mother died in childbirth. Gaius and Miriam [[spoiler: before she dies in childbirth. Seeing a pattern?]] By the end of the series [[spoiler:Aristo and Nubia count, and it's strongly implied Flavia and Flaccus will be too.]] Mordecai portrayed his marriage as this [[spoiler:but it's later revealed Suzannah was in love with another man and all she'll admit to Jonathan is that she wasn't ''un''happy.]]
* HarmfulToMinors: Children are exposed to harmful situations and are even harmed throughout the series. Listed are just a few of the more notable examples.
** In ''The Gladiators from Capua'', children, to include ''very young children'' are part of the audience at the [[strike:Colosseum]] Flavian Amphitheater. [[spoiler: Also, one of the main characters becomes a gladiator and another character is exposed to wild animals that kill several other children before she is saved.]]
** The events behind Lupus's DarkAndTroubledPast and Nubia's DarkAndTroubledPast.
** The fate of the children that are [[MadeASlave kidnapped and enslaved]].
* HeroicDolphin: In ''The Dolphins of Laurentum''. The main characters swim and play with dolphins, and [[spoiler: Lupus even rides one.]] A dolphin rescues [[spoiler: Lupus after he nearly drowns from staying underwater too long while diving. It is also strongly implied that the same dolphin discouraged Lupus from deliberately leaving behind another diver who had been trapped by a giant octopus, though in fairness to Lupus he had a good reason for wanting the trapped person to die.]] The book also references several examples of the use of dolphins in Myth/ClassicalMythology and Roman urban legends, including stories of shipwrecked sailors being rescued by dolphins and boys riding on dolphins. A ship is named Delphina.
* HistoricalFiction
* TheHero: Flavia is the main focus of the stories especially early in the series, but all her friends have their moments in the spotlight and books focusing on them which often connect to their backstories. (Nubia:''The Gladiators from Capua'' and ''The Scribes from Alexandria.'' Jonathan:''The Assassins of Rome'' and ''The Enemies of Jupiter''. Lupus:''The Dolphins of Laurentum'' and ''The Colossus of Rhodes''.)
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Jonathan plans to be executed for killing Titus in the place of his father, (who he thinks is the real murderer.) However Flavia works out Jonathan is lying and clears his name.]]
** [[spoiler: Miriam refuses to let her father save her during childbirth and insists he save her children instead.]]
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Jonathan has a tendency towards pessimism and poor self esteem.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Jonathan experiences this at the end of ''The Enemies of Jupiter'' when he blames himself for a massive fire that killed thousands of people. It results in examples of HurtingHero, ItsAllMyFault, and SurvivorGuilt. For a time, he also adopts an alter ego called Ira ([[MeaningfulRename meaning wrath]]) that almost results in BecomingTheMask. When his friends first try to shake him out of it, he expresses a ThatManIsDead attitude toward his real name and identity. His new identity includes some of the elements of MaddenIntoMisanthropy, ADarkerMe, and something that may even be mild form of SplitPersonality.]]
* HurtingHero: Lupus is the main example at the beginning of the series. Jonathan also becomes one.

[[folder:Tropes I though M]]
* ICallItVera: The sailor Atticus has a sword he calls "Flora"; named, we are told, after an ex-girlfriend with a sharp tongue.
** In the TV adaptation this is their door-slave Caudex instead.
* IChooseToStay: [[spoiler: Nubia]] does this at end at the end of ''The Scribes of Alexandria,'' when she chooses to [[spoiler: return to Italia rather than go back to her home country of Nubia.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: TheXOfY; usually, but not always, "The of ".
* InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous: The characters have interactions with several examples of a {{Historical Domain Character}}.
* InHarmonyWithNature: Nubia has a strong connection with animals that is almost magical.
* ItWasADarkAndStormyNight: The opening of the short story "'The Five Barley Grains" in ''The Legionary from Londinium & Other Mini Mysteries'' starts out this way. [[WordOfGod Caroline Lawrence]] said that like [[{{Peanuts}} Snoopy]], she always wanted to start a story with that stock phrase.
* JustAKid: This is played straight throughout the series. Sometimes the four detectives exploit this to their advantage. Sometimes it is an obstacle that they have to overcome.
* KidDetective: The four main characters are all kids, however Flavia is the primary one that refers to herself as a detective, or ''detectrix'' in the Latin.
* KilledOffForReal: Several minor characters in early books [[spoiler: such as Pliny the Elder, Simeon Jonathan's uncle and Flavia's future step-mother. In later books more significant characters Miriam and Uncle Gaius are also killed off.]]
* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem''
* LoveAtFirstNote: Mordecai fell in love with Jonathan's mother when he heard her laugh.
* LovePotion: Historic examples of what Romans believed to be love potions are featured in ''The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina''.
* LoveTriangle: Variations on the theme take place in some of the books. Caroline Lawrence seems particularly fond of depicting situations where more than one man is in love with the same woman and she must choose which suitor to marry.
* MadeASlave: Nubia starts the series as a slave. Many other children are also kidnapped and enslaved, forming the basis of the plots for ''The Pirates of Pompeii'' and ''The Colossus of Rhodes.'' [[spoiler: The Four Detectives are briefly captured in ''The Pirates of Pompeii'' and are going to be sold as slaves. Jonathan is also briefly enslaved in ''The Assassins of Rome'' and at the end of ''The Enemies of Jupiter'' he uses the brand mark to pose as a slave. Three of the Four Detectives are captured yet again in ''The Colossus of Rhodes''.]].
* ManlyMenCanHunt: Jonathan, Lupus, Aristo and Aristo's friend Lysander hunt on a regular basis.
* MatzoFever: Miriam, to every man she meets that's not related to her.
* MeaningfulFuneral: Happens in [[spoiler: ''The Gladiators from Capua'' and ''The Slave-girl from Jerusalem.'']]
* MeaningfulRename: Nubia is really the name that was given by the slave dealers to [[spoiler: Shepenwepet]] when she is made a slave. When she is freed, she decides to keep the name, saying "Nubia can be my new name for my new life."
* MeaningfulName: A number of characters have names whose meanings in Latin or Greek reflect their characteristics. Just a few are listed here.
** Lupus, the name of the wild character, means wolf. This is also a partial example of AnimalThemeNaming although it does not fit that trope perfectly because Lupus is the only one with an animal name.
** Felix is a very fortunate (both rich and lucky) man, as one might expect from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_%28name%29 meaning of his name.]]
** Marcus Geminus and Gaius Geminus are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini twin brothers]]
** Flavia is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavia_%28name%29 fair haired girl.]]
* TheMedic: Dr. Mordecai
* TheMentor: Dr. Mordecai, Aristo and several other adults play the role to varying degrees.
* MistakenForCheating: [[spoiler: Pliny the Elder and Rectina, in ''The Secrets of Vesuvius'']]
* MisterBig: [[spoiler: The head of an illegal kidnapping ring turns out to have dwarvism.]]
* MonumentalBattle: Lupus gets into a fight onto of the remnants of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collosus the Collosus]], in a deliberate ShoutOut to ''Film/NorthByNorthwest''.
* MurderByMistake: In ''The Fugitive From Corinth'' [[spoiler: Marcus Flavius Geminus is stabbed and almost killed by a person attempting to murder Aristo.]]
** A beggar boy that was given a tunic by Lupus is thrown into a [[SharkPool crocodile pit]] when he is mistaken for Lupus.
* MusicForCourage: The Four Detectives play music for refugees in ''The Pirates of Pompeii''.
* MysteryTropes: A wide variety of standard mystery story tropes are used throughout the series.
** MysteryArc: Most of the stories
** MysteryFiction: Most of the stories
** MysteryMagnet: Flavia
* MysteriousPast: Lupus's origins and the reason he has no tongue are not revealed until several books into the series.

[[folder:Tropes N though S]]
* NakedOnArrival: Nubia is first shown as a naked slave being prepared for auction.
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Gaius Flavius Geminus dies at sea in a shipwreck. The body is never recoved, however it is strongly implied that he was KilledOffForReal.]]
* NoSparks: Flavia and [[spoiler: Jonathan]] agree they're this after their PracticeKiss in Sirens of Surrentum, and the only thing they noticed was what the other one had for lunch.
* OhMyGods: Pollux!
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Several slave boys are described this way.
* PairTheSmartOnes: [[spoiler: Lawyer Flaccus and 'detectrix' Flavia. In fact what makes him kiss her for the first time? Her figuring out the clue to win his court case!]]
* ParentsAsPeople: As the series continues the adult's own flaws and issues are dealt with: [[spoiler: Jonathan's mother abandoned her family to be with another man, Gaius runs away out of grief after Miriam dies and the previously saintly Mordecai becomes an alcoholic.]]
* PassingTheTorch: [[spoiler: Lupus and Threptus. Threptus will become the main character of a spin-off series.]]
* ParentalAbandonment: All four of the main characters have {{Missing Mom}}s. Nubia and Lupus undergo an OrphansOrdeal and Jonathan and Flavia both have times when their fathers are literally or figuratively distant.
* PlayAlongPrisoner: [[spoiler: When Jonathan has been ChainedToARock ([[CrucifiedHeroShot actually he was tied to a cross]]) in order to be FedToTheBeasts, the person that ties him up makes the ropes too loose so that he can escape at the right moment. When the beast that is supposed to eat him shows up, it turns out to be a [[AndroclesLion harmless lion that Jonathan already knows.]] He then SlipsTheRopes and climbs onto the lion, riding it out of the arena. Those trying to execute him see this as a sign from the gods that he should be spared.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: Well, not completely useless, but the only thing they seem to be useful for are locking up the criminals that Flavia and friends have identified. Of course, historic Rome did not have anything approaching modern police forces and professional, scientific criminal investigation techniques, so this is probably not far from the truth.
* PhoneInDetective: Though obviously there are no phones involved, Flavia does this a few times, most notably in ''The Legionary from Londinium'' in which she deduces the location of a treasure hoard from another country. In her introduction Caroline Lawrence calls this trope "an armchair mystery."
* PitTrap: Used in ''The Beggar of Volubilis'' to trap peoples that pursuing the main characters.
* ThePlague: A [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titus#Challenges historical plague]] that hit Rome in 80 AD is featured in ''The Enemies of Jupiter''.
* PluckyGirl: Flavia
* PracticeKiss: Flavia has a PracticeKiss with [[spoiler: Jonathan.]]
* {{Pride}}: Pride of the hubris variety is one of the explicit themes of ''The Enemies of Jupiter''.
* RagsToRiches: Lupus goes from being a begger boy to [[spoiler: owning his own ship.]]
* RealityEnsues: Jonathan dreams of [[spoiler: bringing back his enslaved MissingMom and reuniting his parents. This is despite knowing their ArrangedMarriage had problems and his mother was unfaithful to Mordecai. He eventually succeeds in getting them back together but his mother is still distant from the family and they never achieve the happy, idyllic marriage he imagined.]]
** Also Pulchra's crush on Jonathan. [[spoiler: They kiss in ''Sirens to Surrentum'' but by the DistantFinale she's married to wealthy roman citizen. No the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Rome ''won't'' be marrying a middle class doctor's son who follows an illegal religion.]]
* RecountedByTheMainCharacters: The does not apply to most of the series, but it partially applies to ''The Roman Mysteries Treasury''. The text of the book is written as if it is a report assembled by Flavia Gemina, with her and her friends and family each writing a different chapter on a topic that Flavia assigned to them.
* RomanceArc: Flavia and Nubia both go through a RomanceArc that eventually [[spoiler: leads to both of them being married in the last chapter.]]
** RomanticFalseLead
** RomanticRunnerUp
* SadisticChoice: [[spoiler: Nubia has the opportunity to free one gladiator from slavery. She has to choose between her brother and her friend Jonathan.]]
** [[spoiler: Lupus has to decide between saving his friends and stopping his mother from being sacrificed. He saves his friends and although the sacrifice doesn't actually take his mother's life, it means he can never see her again.]]
* TheScapegoat: [[spoiler:Jonathan]] is blamed for the burning of Rome, causing him to become a CondemnedContestant.
* ScarsAreForever: Lupus's missing tongue.
* SecondaryCharacterTitle: Most of the book titles, when they refer to a character, refer to a secondary character or groups of characters that are pivotal to the plot but are not one of the series's four main characters.
* SeaStories: Most of the series would not qualify, however ''The Colossus of Rhodes'' would. Not only is it about ship voyage through the Mediterranean Sea, but the story also incorporates explicit parallels to one of the SeaStories of Myth/ClassicalMythology, namely ''Jason and The Argonauts''.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Introspective, moody Jonathan and hot-tempered, street-smart Lupus are a kid version of this.
* SettleForSibling: [[spoiler: Marcus Flavius ends up getting married to a sister of his deceased fiancée.]]
* SharkPool: With [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile crocodiles]].
* SherlockScan: Flavia does this several times, including in ''The Secrets of Vesuvius'' and ''The Legionary from Lodinium.''
* ShoutOut: A number of them, including:
** "He will [[Franchise/StarTrek live long and prosper]]."
** [[Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum "A funny thing happened on the way to the forum."]]
* ShrineToTheFallen: The books show the Roman custom of displaying the death masks of ancestors.
* SickAndWrong: This trope could be a rough translation of the Roman concept of "nefas" which is described in ''The Sirens of Surrentum''.
* SideKick: Nubia is described by the author as Flavia's faithful sidekick.
* SlaveBrand: Jonathon is branded with one in ''The Assassins of Rome''. It continues to cause him trouble in later books.
* SlaveLiberation: Granting freedom to household slaves was actually common practice among the Romans. There are several examples of slaves being set free, but the most notable one is [[spoiler:Flavia freeing her slave girl Nubia, by inviting her to recline at her coach.]]
** In ''The Slave Girl of Jerusalem'' the Roman custom of freeing slaves upon the death of their master is an important plot point.
* SnoopingLittleKid: Lupus uses his skills at snooping, sneaking and eavesdropping several times throughout the series.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Miriam laments the fact that she is so attractive that she is always attracting an unwanted level of male interest.
* TheSpeechless: Lupus is upable to speak because his tongue has been cut out.
* [[ShowWithinAShow Show Within A Book]]: The ''The Beggar of Volubilis'' depicts a traveling troupe of actors who end up putting on a play with the Four Detectives. They perform [[http://www.oldandsold.com/articles06/dance-17.shtml pantomime]] of the Roman variety, related to but not quite identicle to {{pantomime}} of the modern British variety.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: [[spoiler: Nubia in ''The Scribes of Alexandria'' gets as far as the borders of her own country, but realizes that she no longer fits into her own country.]]
* StreetUrchin: Several examples appear in the series, however the most notable is Lupus, who becomes one of the four main characters.
* StartsWithTheirFuneral: ''The Gladiators of Capua'' starts with a memorial service for [[spoiler: Jonathan.]]
* SuccessionCrisis: Part of the plot in ''The Man from Pomegranate Street'', as the result of the death of Roman Emperor Titus.
* SweetPollyOliver: [[spoiler: In ''The Scribes of Alexandria'' a girl disguises herself as a eunuch in other to study as in the Library of Alexandria. This leads to a SweetOnPollyOliver situation with a male scribe. In ''The Fugitive from Corinth'' another girl disguises herself as a beggar boy. Flavia and Nubia both disguise themselves as boy at times.]]

[[folder:Tropes T though Z]]
* ThatManIsDead: [[spoiler:Jonathan]] takes this on when he becomes a gladiator and adopts a new name.
* TomBoy: Flavia, and to a greater degree Diana, are mild tomboys by modern standards but are most especially tomboys by Roman standards.
** TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Flavia and Miriam are an amicable version while Flavia and Pulchra are more antagonistic. Nubia falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
* TeamDad: Marcus Flavius Geminus and Doctor Mordecai.
* TeamMom: Alma acts as a ParentalSubstitute to Flavia, and to a lesser degree all four of the main characters.
* TeamPet: Nipur, Scuto and Tigris are {{Canine Companion}}s of Nubia, Flavia and Jonathan respectivly.
* TheHeart: Nubia
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: [[spoiler:Lupus's actual name is Lukos. However, both names simply mean "wolf." This does not follow the trope perfectly, because it is not an alias that Lupus picks for himself.]]
* TranslationConvention: Most of the characters are really speaking Latin or Greek, however it is normally depicted in English. When the author intends for a line of dialogue to not be understood by the main characters or the audience, she will say that a certain character said something in a given language rather than reproduce the words the character says.
* {{Tragedy}}: The characters discuss tragedies and the purpose of tragedies in general, and several Classical Greek tragedies in particular.
* TrueCompanions: The four main characters Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus, who acknowledge they have a bond closer than friends or family. The circle often extends to include Aristo, Marcus, Mordecai, Miriam, Gaius, occasionally Caudex and Alma, and later on [[spoiler: Flaccus.]]
* TwinSwitch: Gaius poses as Marcus in one of the books.
* TwoferTokenMinority: Jonathan in his family is Jewish and Christian. Of course, being a Christian may not seem to be a minority thing to most modern Western readers, but they are minorities in pagan Rome.
* UndignifiedDeath: In one of the short stories, a body is found with its head immersed in a public piss pot.
* UnexpectedInheritance: [[spoiler: Lupus is the heir to Venalicus when he dies, and gets the slave ship Vespa. The ship is turned into the [[MeaningfulRename Delphina]] and is used to replace the ship that Marcus Flavius lost in tsunami.]]
* UnreliableExpositor: A number of characters state scientific, medical or geographic facts that are now known to be inaccurate, but do correspond to what educated people in the 1st century AD Rome actually believed.
* WhileRomeBurns: Inverted in a big way. [[spoiler: Rome literally burns in ''The Enemies of Jupiter'', but the main characters are certainly not fiddling while it happened.]]
* WorldOfNoGrandparents: None of the main characters have grandparents take any major role in the story. Most of the grandparents are dead. Given the low life expectancy of this time period, this is highly realistic.
* WrongGuyFirst: Flavia's first crush is on [[spoiler: Publius Pollus Felix]] who is rich, handsome, charming, witty and charismatic. Unfortunately, he is also [[spoiler: married and TheCasanova]]. This results in a lot of LoveHurts feelings.
** [[{{WrongGuyFirst}} Wrong Girl First]]: [[spoiler: Aristo realizes his feelings for Miriam were just infatuation and falls in love with Nubia instead.]]
* YouAreGrounded: This happens to Flavia in ''Twelve Tasks of Flavia.''
* YouAreNumberSix: Several Roman characters have names based on numbers, such as Sextus and Quintus. However, this does not have the same dehumanizing or secret identity implications it would in modern times, because these were normal real life Roman names.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: [[spoiler: The four detectives and their families can't stay in Ostia at the end, because they are exiled.]]
* YouMeddlingKids: The most notable example of this is the ending of ''The Thieves of Ostia''
* YourCheatingHeart: A surprising number of examples for a book with a target audience of 8-to-12-year-old children. [[spoiler: Felix in ''The Sirens of Surrentum'' is revealed to be a serial philanderer. Also, it is revealed that the mother of one of the main characters ran off with the man she had wanted to marry but could not because of an ArrangedMarriage]].