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Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 11:06:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: "A. Bin Talal" 
Subject: (urth) Re: Latro and the Persian army

> Essentially, the assumption I made from the story is
> that Latro's injury and 
> his offense to Demeter occurred during the battle of
> Plataea. Having read 
> Herodotus' vague description of the action there,
> however, he provides some 
> specifics that make this difficult to reconcile. The
> Greek army had split 
> into two divisions, according to his account - the
> Spartans, who were 
> engaged near the shrine of Demeter, and the
> Athenians who were some distance 
> away. The Persian army also split, and it's stated
> that native Persians led 
> by Mardonius pursued the Spartans, while the foreign
> contingent coming along 
> after fought the Athenians & co. This implies that
> for Latro to have been 
> fighting near the shrine of Demeter during the
> battle of Plataea, he must 
> have been in the Persian contingent; not only that,
> he would have to have 
> been in the leading elements among the Immortals and
> Mardonius' hand-picked 
> bodyguard, since the rout began before the full
> Persian contingent was able 
> to engage.
> It's not impossible to resolve this, but it does
> seem to make a difference 
> how you choose to explain it.
> One of the first things that occurred to me was that
> Latro may have acquired 
> his curse at a different shrine of Demeter - the
> Persians had sacked the one 
> at Eleusis earlier, whereas at Plataea the shrine
> remained supposedly 
> untouched. If this were the case then Latro may have
> lost his memory quite 
> some time before the battle of Plataea where he
> received his head injury 
> (which would then be incidental and misleading).

You are saying then that he was cursed by Demeter to
forget before the battle and then took part in the
battle, fighting the Athenians, and got a head injury!
it's a nice theory but I don't see any hints in the
text of 'Latro'  to this conclusion. Any way he seemed
almost invincible for the rest of the book having Nike
following him everywhere like a newly married wife
following her husband.

> Another possibility is that Latro may really have
> been close to Mardonius. 
> It doesn't seem unreasonable that he would be
> accorded some honor if he 
> really was the one to kill Leonidas. And Latro's
> vague memory places him 
> somewhere not too far away from Xerxes during the
> battle of Thermopylae, so 
> perhaps he had a position of honor even back then.
> That, however, makes him 
> a prominent enough figure that it seems unusual that
> no one thought to 
> mention him in the various histories.
> Any thoughts?
> Chris

Well in the History there was no mention of a Roman or
even a Latin contingent in the Persian army, let alone
a single Roman man. IMHO I think that Latro
foreshadows the rise of the Roman republic which was
created around the time of the Persian war. Nike
followed them everywhere around the Hellenic world;
just like Latro. 

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