(urth) Essential Background Reading for Soldier Series

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Thu Nov 30 18:41:05 PST 2006

On Fri, 01 Dec 2006 09:17:31 +1100 Michael Straight 
<mfstraight at gmail.com> wrote:
>Holy essential background reading, Batman!  I wish I'd known that 
>ten years ago.
>Now I'm wondering what else I need to have read.

I think knowing something about what happened afterwards is useful. 

Pausanias was supposed to have conspired with the Persians with the 
intent of taking over one of the Spartan king positions. He was 
also supposed to have plotted to arm & free the helots in supports 
of this coup (or something like that; can't remember exact 
details). He was betrayed, and the ephors/"judges" locked him up in 
a temple & starved him to death.

Apart from the color this sheds on the Gaea/Artemis stuff, I think 
it also helps to make sense of the oracle spoken by Cleomenes at 
Acheron. "Seek peace" is obvious. "Don't drink from Lethe's cup" = 
don't rely on Latro the forgetful as a talisman of vistory. "Ask 
who will make  the defenders of Sestos yield" = "Hunger", a warning 
about his eventual fate.

Themistocles was dogged by accusations of arrogance and corruption. 
Interestingly, one example of the former was supposed to have been 
his building a temple to Artemis next to his house (or something 
like that). He was exiled & then hounded out of Greece, also 
accused of Persian plots by the later Spartan leadership. He did in 
fact "defect", and ended up as an aristocratic subject of the Great 
King in charge of <somewhere>.
One thing I don't quite understand is Gaea's alternative plan for 
the helots: if she doesn't succeed with her Pausanias as helot-
liberating king play, she will nevertheless use them to destroy 
Sparta via an uprising. There was some kind of uprising in the next 
decade, after an earthquake, but the Spartans suppressed it fairly 
quickly. After that I don't know of any real revolt until the 
helots were "freed" a few centuries later by some of the later 
kings. Is it just that Gaea in this part of the world is too old & 
feeble to make her plans work?

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