When Rome fell in 473AD, Constantinople became the capital of the remnants of the Roman Empire. Virtually every province west of Greece had fallen to the Goths or barbarians and in north Africa to the Visigoths. This historical novel tells the story of Theodora, one time actress or vedette who became the wife of Flavius Justinian, four years before he became Emperor Justinian. -- Theodora so impressed Justinian with her political expertise that he took the unprecedented step of allowing her to rule by his side as Empress. Together they began the task of restoring the Roman Empire to its former glory, reclaiming lands lost fifty years earlier. During the infamous Nikka riots, when Justinian was preparing to flee for his life, Theodora showed her courage, leadership and determination when she vowed to stay. She inspired her entourage with a rousing speech and commanded the young General Belisarius to attack and eliminate the mob which was occupying the stadium, which he did with devastating efficiency. Thereafter, Justinian devoted himself to codifying the law and rebuilding the city and its palaces and churches which had been destroyed by the riots, leaving Theodora and Belisarius to reconquer the lands which had made up the Roman Empire. -- This is the story of the battles for the lost lands from Libya to Italy and the relationship which developed between the Empress and the General as they struggled together to resurrect the glory that had been the greatest empire in the world.