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From: "The Wynns" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Immortals and Archaic Rome
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 14:06:02 -0600

Chris says:
> re: Latro as an Immortal, I didn't actually know that foreigners were
> allowed in that unit - Herodotus didn't say an awful lot about it, and I
> haven't read other sources. But certainly that would help to explain
> Though, I'm not so sure his entire unit would have been used that way. If
> they were, it seems more likely that they would have been caught in the
> later fighting around Thebes than to have gotten so far away.

Crush recants:
Hmmm. Herodotus 7:83 says that the Immortals were "all Persians". So either
Latro was not an Immortal, or Wolfe is engaging in literary license in
presuming that Latro somehow gained a special honor. There *were* 10,000 of
them so I guess it is not inconceivable that a Latin slipped in.

Does identifying Latro as the killer of Leonidas reveal anything? Her. 7:218
seems to suggest Leonidas was assaulted by the Immortals commanded by
Hydarnes. But Her. 7:223 says he was assaulted by the "barbarians under
Xerxes". So it could go either way.

But Latro is clearly a seasoned tactician. I seem to recall someone saying
he looked to be in his early twenties. This has always been difficult for me
to rectify. When could he have had the opportunity to study war
analytically? I can't remember where to find Latro's dream of him going into
battle with his fellow soldiers -- perhaps some a light could be shed from
there. I remember it was from there that I got the idea he was some kind of

It is true that Latium is not numbered among the armies of Xerxes. This is
not surprising. In 478 BC, Rome's republic was about 30 years old -- Rome
was only about 100 years beyond an age of legend. 150 years later, Rome was
not even considered worth the trouble for Alexander the Great or his heirs
to conquer. At the time of the Persian War, Rome was in precarious war with
its neighbors Veii and the Aequi. It is interesting to me that Latro left
his home to become a warrior when Rome was in nearly constant war from the
late 6th century to the late 5th.

-- Crush


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