FIND in
<--prev V306 next-->
From: "The Wynns" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Latro and the Persian army
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 18:21:38 -0600

Chris postulates:
...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...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.

Crush responds:
You have solved the puzzle yourself. Latro was an Immortal -- probably an
officer among them on a tactical level. He could be merely an officer in the
Persian military, but it is unlikely that a foreigner would be permitted
such a distinction. Foreigners were, however, preferred among bodyguard
units as they considered less corruptible (Wolfe himself states in the
introduction) -- consider Rome's Praetorian Guard. How this particular Latin
won a place with the Immortals is not explained, but Latro's knowledge of
Zoroastrianism strongly suggests he spent some significant time in Persia
(as opposed to being mustered in Egypt which the text suggests he went to
first). I don't believe any of the Immortals were mentioned in Herodotus by

The quote from Herodotus at the beginning of SotM is from the battle of
Plataea when Mardonius was killed. I would think this is where the story
-- Crush


<--prev V306 next-->