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 name. 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 begins. -- Crush --