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From: "John Barach" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Ares & Aphrodite & Other Latro Stuff
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 12:06:46 -0600

Earlier today, I wrote

> 4.  Perhaps my biggest question: What exactly happens
> at the end of the manumission ceremony (ch.37)?

... and a lot of other stuff.

Then I read Jim's interview with Wolfe and things became a bit clearer.  The
Spartans had armed the Helots for battle against the Persians, and then
promised to reward their leaders with freedom.  Wolfe says,

     Then they held a ceremony which I described in detail,
     exactly as it was and they gave each Helot who was to
     be awarded his freedom as a climax of the ceremony a
     young Spartan as his companion to lead him through the
     ceremony. And at a given signal each companion killed
     that Helot that he was responsible for. And they were all
     killed except Latros who they did not intend to kill because
     he was not really a Helot. And he survived and all of the
     rest of them who had gone in the ceremony were butchered.
     And they really were, this took place.

So my initial theory was wrong, namely, that the charioteer was being killed
because he lost to Latro.  Or ... was it?  Was the charioteer one of the
Helots who fought against the Persians?  Or are there other reasons he's
there among the people being killed?



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