In ancient Gaul, the Druids have been invaded by the forces of Rome. Despite her hatred for Rome, the Druid high priestess Norma breaks her vows by falling in love with Pollione, the Roman proconsul, and bearing him two children. He abandons Norma in favor of a young priestess, Adalgisa. The guilt-ridden girl confides in Norma, who is sympathetic until she learns that it is Pollione whom Adalgisa loves. Norma castigates her lover for his betrayal. Out of revenge, she plans to kill their children, but cannot bring herself to do it. Adalgisa attempts to persuade Pollione to return to Norma, but he refuses. He tries to abduct Adalgisa, but the Druids capture him and bring him to Norma for punishment. When she confesses to the Druids that she has broken her vows and must die, Pollione understands her nobility of heart and chooses to die with her.
TIME: 50 BCE
PLACE: Gaul, during the Roman occupation