An Eastern bazaar - a hubbub of people and sights at the times when the Mediterranean Sea was governed by the proud and merciless corsairs - the Mediterranean pirates! The tricky trader Isaac sells his foster-daughter - the beautiful Greek girl Medora to a lascivious man of wealth, Pasha Seyd. A slave trader Ahmed maintains a large-scale erotic business, supplying beys, sultans, and pashas with the most beautiful girls from Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine... A flower seller has a jolly dance and the summer air is shimmering with the haze of heat and expectations of adventures.
Corsairs introduce an order and justice in this oriental world. Their leader Conrad returns freedom to Medora, in order to lose his own heart for her. Conrad's friend Birbanto, in his turn, becomes a captive of the eyes of the beautiful Turkish girl Gulnare.
The Corsairs' Isle. Corsairs and their girl-friends carouse and share their stolen bounty. In the handsome Birbanto avidity prevails over friendliness and companionship. Birbanto instigates corsairs against Conrad. When his mutinous plan fails, Birbanto devises a cunning scheme - to drug into sleep or to kill his friend. He succeds in capturing Medora, but while struggling she cuts the masked Birbanto's arm. Conrad wakes, finds Medora missing and sets out to find her.
Harem. Pasha Seyd enjoys life - he is entertained by his wives and odalisques. Yet the most beautiful and unattainable is Gulnare. Isaac brings Medora. Pasha Seyd is most delighted - the harem has gained its most brilliant pearl. Pasha's palace is visited by pilgrims. The time of evening prayer is approaching. Pasha Seyd has no suspicion that the pilgrims are disguised corsairs. Their pilgrims' robes hide Conrad and Birbanto - both Medora and Gulnare recognise them. A flash - and masks are thrown off. Swords and daggers twinkle in the air - and Medora together with Gulnare are safely in the hands of their beloved men. Yet Medora notices in Birbanto's hand a note left by her. It is him - the traitor!
Corsairs' ship. The emerald Mediterranean Sea set a backdrop for the love idyll of Medora and the corsairs' chief. The moment of happiness is short, intense, and rich. Gulnare pleads for Conrad to forgive his friend's treachery. Let everyone be happy! The wind rises and turns into a fierce storm. Corsairs' ship sinks, only Medora and Conrad reach the land...