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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) SOLDIER-Goddesses
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 09:17:51 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]


Following classical authors, Wolfe presents the Persian wars partly as a
conflict between gods, in this case two goddesses, both of whom attempt to
use Latro as their tool. First is the Great Mother, called Ge, Gaeia,
Cybele, Kotytto, Demeter and also Hera. Allied with her is her daughter
Kore/Persephone, Queen of the Dead, also Europa, the sea-nymph Thoe, and
perhaps Ares/Pleistorus. Opposed to her is the Triple Goddess, whom
Cybele/Ge calls the Usurper: her aspects are Moon (Selene, Cynthia)/
Huntress (Artemis, Bendis, Auge)/ Dark Mother (Hekate, Enodia). A clever
approach I had not seen before is opposing Hera's children (i.e. Ares) to
those Zeus had on his own or with mortals (this may not be consistent; we
don't know how Athena stands).

Sorting out who is on whose side is not clear-cut: for example, Cybele was
originally near-Eastern, thus would seem to favor the Persians—yet they
have deserted her for a male deity, Ahura Mazda. Elata starts out as
Artemis's handmaiden, but gets "lent" to Hegisistratus and clearly stands
with Cybele as a confederate in the Horses of the Sun escapade—but is
Artemis's representative at the council at the end of ARETE. And it stands
to reason that the huntress Amazons would favor Artemis—but they don't.
Similarly, Thoe, the sea-nymph, seems as though she would be on Artemis's
side, but isn't. And I would have thought Medea would line up with Cybele,
but not here.

But here is a short who's whose:


Lion, wolf, pig (boar): beast-mistress      
Castrated priests
Spartan slaves (helots)
Amazons (via Ares)
Polos, Amykles
Memory sphinx			


Dog, snake (here at least)
Spartan citizens
Air (with Athena?)
Pindaros (via Apollo)

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