Flavius Silva is a great general, popular with his men, no stranger to the violence of battle or the enjoyment of wine, women and song. He is happy to find himself in the province of Judea, far from the decadence and intrigue to the Roman Court. For months, Silva has besieged the fortress of Masada, the last stronghold of Jewish resistance.  But when at last it falls, the victory is hollow – the Jews have cheated Silva of his glorious victory by committing suicide. His depression is lightened by the arrival of the Emperor’s daughter Domittilla, who had been a child when last they had met. Now, as a woman, she brings an overwhelming joy to Silva’s life – and a desperate danger. Illicitly, they fall in love and when Silva joins her in Rome, he steps into a war between Domittila’s brothers, who both want succession to the throne, and Silva must take a part in the dynastic struggle.