Jonathan ben Mordecai
Eli Machover

Birth and Death

16 September AD 68 (Jerusalem) -

Also Known As

Ira (in The Gladiators from Capua) Prometheus (in The Gladiators from Capua)

Hair Color

Dark brown





Signature colour


Family Members

Parents and sibling


In-law family




Jonathan ben Mordecai is a Jewish boy who is one of the four detectives.


Early HistoryEdit

When Jonathan was 18 months old when he fled Jerusalem with his father and sister shortly before it was besieged. His mother did not escape and is presumed dead by her family.


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 humour; he is funny throughout the series, however, his humour becomes progressively darker.
Jonathan is very intelligent and oftens 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 a reckless with his life, putting its worth far below his loved ones'.


Jonathan can play the barbiton and often accompanies his friends when they plan 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 AppearanceEdit

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.

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




Nubia and Jonathan play music together.

Jonathan and Nubia get on very well, being the two calmer members of the four detectives. Jonathan reaches out to her when she first arrives by teaching her Latin and Nubia gives him a puppy, which becomes his dearest possession. In the will she writes, Nubia leaves her own dog to Jonathan and says that he makes her laugh.

Jonathan's disappearance in the Fire causes Nubia deep distress. After she discovers that he is alive and is now a gladiator, Nubia rushes to find him. Discovering that he has changed his identity and is now bound to being a gladiator, she fights fiercely to get him back and is overjoyed when she wins the opportunity to free a gladiator. When she discovers that her only-surviving sibling, Taharqo, is also a gladiator, the dilemma she experiences in who to choose is testimony to her love for Jonathan. It becomes clear that she views him on a parr to her real family.

Jonathan appears to be more comfortable showing his emotions in front of Nubia than in front of most of his family and other friends, including Flavia and Lupus. He lets his guard down and cries in front of her, expressing his despair over his mother and sister's fates.

Jonathan is sensitive towards her and good at judging her emotions. He is supportive of her love for Aristo, remembering her feelings for him when no one else does.


Eli Machover as Jonathan

Eli Machover as Jonathan

  • HI Jonathan is a male given name of Hebrew origin and means 'YHWH hasHI 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 an aunt to the same boys, namely Popo and Soso).


Jonathan appears in, among others, the following novels: