(urth) The end of Soldier of Arete

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Thu Nov 30 03:56:17 PST 2006

On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 17:04:51 +1100 Michael Straight 
<mfstraight at gmail.com> wrote:
>So it makes sense that Pausanius would order the Spartans to "shun 

>Phonecian steel" and prevent others from pursuing Latro--if he 
>have the cargo, neither can the Argives--but what does Pindaros 
>when he says "the shrewd prince gained ten times over what he 
>I don't see how he gains anything by Latro's escape except in the
>sense of "my enemy's loss is my gain."

The end of Arete is Wolfe at his toughest, IMO. For this part of 
it, my conclusion is that Latro did a deal with Pausanias; the ship 
cargo in return for Pausanias holding back when Latro makes his 
play. Towards the end, he writes: "I still do not know what can be 
done, but I know that for gold these Hellenes will connive at 
anything."  Then a little later, Pausanias sends pasicrates off to 
Corinth, telling him not to come back without gold.  

>And does he think that's why Artemis wants Latro to win the race?
>Because it would lead to the destruction of her people, the Rope
>Makers?  Surely that's more like what Gaea wants.  (Is it possible
>there is a typo and Hegestratus is saying Themistocles must be
>discredited and *then* destroyed?)

My reading on this: Pausanias is actually Gaea's favorite in this. 
Recall the scene where a decrepit Gaea phrophesizes for the helots. 
Pasuanias will, perhaps, raise them up or whatever. 

Artemis, presumably for similar reasons, wants Pausanias destroyed. 
In typical Greek fashion, the weapon of destruction is to be 
hubris, specifically a victory in the chariot race. As she says to 
Latro, H and Elata: "My queen must win in order that the prince may 
be destroyed." 

In the end, things work out a little differently: Pausanias in fact 
loses the chariot race, but nevertheless "wins" in a sufficiently 
hubris-inducing way. (And Themistocles will suffer the same fate.) 

I think there was a deal worked out between the representatives of 
Gaea and Artemis, in Ch38. Infuriatingly, Latro doesn't say what 
happened at this meeting, finishing with Elata murmuring, "Now we 
can begin." 

So I don't know what Gaea gets in exchange for Pausanias' downfall -
 maybe a victory for her grand-daughters, the Amazons? 

>It's funny how Pindaros writes of the sighting of Artemis on 
>ship as if it's a sign that her hand was in Latro's escape in the
>victory of the silver chariot.  But that's the opposite of what
>Artemis wanted and if that was her on Latro's ship, it must be 
>he's in big trouble with her.

But Artemis did get what she wanted - a "victory" for Pausanias, 
"accounted twice a hero among the strategem loving Greeks." Gaea 
presumably gets the consolation prize of a victory for her grand-
daughters, the Amazons. 

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