Titus, a young Roman, is betrothed, at eighteen, to Cordelia, a girl he has known all his life. Dutiful to his parents, he accepts the betrothal without enthusiasm, though his primary concern is with the precarious state of a Rome threatened by the invincible Hannibal. When Titus is made prisoner he is held in disgrace by his fellow Romans, but his courage and Cordelia's womanly bravery give him the strength to fight on to the defeat of Hannibal. A familiar story gives form to a detailed reconstruction of life in Rome in the sixth century B.C. and to the crucial events of the time.