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From: "mournings glory" 
Subject: Re: (urth) lions of Ares
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 08:27:13 +0000

Marcus having written:

>OK - if you say that the lion was the symbol of Ares, can we explain the
>memory house of Latro that he constructs in 28 of SoA: "What are these
>statues?"  "Lions with the faces of men."  At first, latro thinks that all 
>statues are lions.  then, he is corrected: the second statue is the sphinx,
>who says, "I am your mother, and your mother's mother."  Well, the Sphinx 
>the daughter of Hera.  Ares is the son of Hera.  If Latro is the daughter 
>the Sphinx, and the Sphinx is somehow contiguous with Hera, then Latro's
>mother is Hera.  Jeez.  Ares mother is Hera.

I'm confused here. I always thought that the Sphinx was the daughter of 
Echidna, along with siblings Hydra, Cerberus, and the Nemean lion--all 
monsters coincidentally enough encountered by Heracles. Thus my own theory 
about Latro--that, as a Roman, he's a direct descendant of Heracles and that 
many of his adventures are meant to recapitulate those of the great Semideid 
himself. This, of course, requires you to accept the notion that Latinus was 
the son of Heracles by King Faunus' widow or daughter (or a Hyperborean 
maiden in still another tradition), and that Latinus' daughter, Lavinia, 
marries Aeneas when he arrives after Troy is sacked. We are also given to 
understand that Latro hails from Latium--which has been named after Latinus. 
And look how many of the creatures Latro encounters are similar to those 
encountered by "the Glory of Hera": Drakaina--part Echidna, part hydra; 
various lions; a griffin (a Stymphalian bird prototype?); a stag; centaurs; 
Amazons; fabulous horses; a wild boar; a bull (or is that Severian?); plus 
there's also his indenturement to Kalleos, which recalls that of Heracles to 
Omphale, and his descent into the underworld. Heracles was also supposed to 
marry Iole; if little Io had her way Latro would be married to her. And is 
my memory failing (it's been a while since I read the two books), but isn't 
Antaeus or someone like him encountered somewhere?

Furthermore, Heracles is the son of a god and and a mortal who is 
transmogrified at death so perhaps Wolfe is attempting to paint him as 
another man+god avatar. (Indeed, will Latro be mistaken for/identified as 
Quetzacoatl if his adventures take him to pre-Columbian America?)

Perhaps further correspondences will yet take place in the future Soldier 
books (and I'm sure there are some in the first two that I've forgotten or 
overlooked), but I for one am really looking forward to the resumption of 
this series.

msg (a small dose)

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