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Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 15:40:51 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: (urth) Fwd: Latro and Ares

>I temporarily cannot post to the list. Taking a page from Blattid's book,
>would you mind posting this for me?
>-- James Wynn
>Marc pondered:
>The evidence against Ares being Latro must certainly include Latro's early
>memories of his childhood and his farmland.  On the other hand, Nike always
>follows Latro invisibly, and I'm pretty sure Ares is at least living inside
>Latro or possessing him (if he is not entirely homoousious with Latro).
>Could it be that the Great Mother is mad at her son? Anybody else think
>Latro is divine?
>And Nutria helps him along:
>Add to your data his tryst with Venus/Aphrodite, lover of Mars/Ares. I
>brought this up to Wolfe in my looong interview, mentioning that Venus was
>married to Vulcan and had adultery with Mars (plug in the Greek names as you
>wish). He acted confused, saying that he had thought Venus married to Mars,
>at least in some versions. I say, "acted" confused. It's hard to believe he
>did not know this. Which made me wonder if perhaps "more" were not involved.
>Crush takes the other side:
>I've only checked what I consider to be the relevant chapters of the Soldier
>novels to refresh my memory so I'm open to correction, however....
>I'd say that Latro is for a time filled with the spirit of Ares, but not
>throughout the novels. I'll explain why:
>I won't go into it here, but Wolfe **was** definitely aware of the of the
>story of Aphrodite's tryst with Ares by the time he wrote Exodus of the Long
>Sun. It would be remarkable, if Wolfe were unaware of this at the time he
>wrote the Soldier novels (considering his reliance on "The Greeks Myths"
>therein), and it is hard to imagine why he would cover up his knowledge of
>it if he were.  Nevertheless, Latro and Aphrodite's "tryst" (SoM:20) does
>not **actually** involve the **act** per se. Also, there is an important
>element of the story that does not play out in their time together: Ares and
>Aphrodite were caught in a net by her husband (flagrante delicto) and forced
>to dangle in mid-air before all the other gods.
>Secondly, I certainly don't believe Ares would have needed help from
>Odysseus and Heracles (as Latro received) to win fights.
>Also, if he were Ares, surely some god or ghost would have let on about it.
>This is not proof on its own, yet even Artemis speaks of them as different
>personalities. Cynthia/Artemis says (SoA:6) :
>"Latro named me a queen. Soon you'll meet another--you may rely upon me for
>that. She has a strong protector, and I intend to make use of him to flush a
>IIRC, her "protector" was Ares -- as Marc pointed out, the Amazon's were
>daughters of Ares.
>There **is** a connection here between Ares and the themes in the rest of
>the book, because Robert Graves ("The Greek Myths" 100:1) asserts that the
>name "amazon" does NOT come from a word meaning "breastless" but from an
>Armenian word meaning "moon women" -- so, as far as Graves is concerned,
>they were priestesses of the trideitic Moon goddess who is the major player
>the Soldier novels so far. Although I don't recall him saying so, I've no
>doubt Graves would be perfectly happy with the belief that Ares is the
>"Great Mother" in another form. The Moon Goddess is in some kind of struggle
>with Hera/Rhea/Demeter (who Graves also identifies as  the "White Goddess"
>so it should not surprise us that their supposedly conflicting schemes run
>in strange collusion. Even King Kotys was, according to Graves', this same
>wondrous deity (look up Cotys in "The White Goddess".
>FINALLY, Ares actually **does** make an appearance (SoA:9). Latro writes:
>     "...I told the black man and the rest about the rider I had seen, a big
>man with a lance on a big horse.
>     "'That will be an Apsinthian,' Hegesistratus said. 'He may even be a
>scout of their king's, though it's more likely he was just a petty
>aristocrat out hunting. When we ford the river, we will be in their
>country.' ...I asked him then whether the Apisinthians hunted with lions as
>other men do with dogs, and he assured me that they do not. The beast that
>ran beside the rider's horse seemed a lion to me, but I did not speak of it
>I don't remember the reference that assured me that lions were a symbol of
>Ares, but I was once so assured. Yet, it was certainly a lion and a god that
>Latro saw, based on his investigation later in the chapter:
>     "When we rode on, I looked for hoof marks where I had seen the rider,
>for near them I hoped to discover the footprints of the animal that had
>bounded beside his horse as well, and from them to decide whether it had
>been a dog, as Hegisistratus had said, or a lion, as I had thought it...The
>hoofprints of the rider's steed were...invisible, though I discovered the
>pug marks of a lion."
>Since Latro sees Ares from afar, I think it is safe to assume that he and
>Latro are not one in the same.
>Yet in chapter 24-25 Latro DOES flush the supernatural boar from Thamyris's
>throne room AND the Apsinthian's believe him to be Ares (and since this is a
>Wolfe novel, their naive mistake is proof enough for me), so I think it is
>also clear that at least during those chapters, he was **inspired** by Ares.
>I presume the inspiration first occurred when Latro saw the god in chapter
>--- Crush


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