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October 21, 2008

Mendicant Bias and Greek Mythology

Another real-life element that has something to say about the Halo story just made its first appearance in quite some time: Greek Mythology. That's right: Greek. Not Norse. :P

Charlie Fischer ( writes:

I was reading Cicero's "On Friendship" for my Humanities class when I noticed Cicero reference an individual named Bias. This Bias turned out to be Bias of Priene, a greek philospher known for the justice of his verdicts, and the wisest of the Seven Sages of Greece.

I'll be sending a thorough fleshing out of this connection in the near future, once I have time. Here is a rough portrayal based on my current understandings of the Halo story and who Bias is (complements of Wikipedia...)

Keep in mind Mendicant is derived from the Latin Mendicans, which roughly translated equates to begging. It was generally applied to religious ascetics who survived off of the charity of others, but can also be applied to the act of begging.

Perhaps the reason Mendicant Bias failed his creators was because he was designed to find a peaceful solution to the conflict? Bias of Priene was known for his just verdicts, and perhaps Mendicant was seeking to not only distract the Gravemind, but his method of creating a false sense of security for Gravemind before the counter-attack was through an intention strategy of begging for mercy, negotiating a peaceful resolution, aka surviving off of the charity of Gravemind. The only problem was that the Gravemind's logic pushed Mendicant to make a just decision that was not in favor of his makers.

Enter Offensive Bias. After Mendicant sells his makers short with his verdict that the Forerunner subconsiously want to end their own reign of the galaxy, Offensive Bias is created to come to another just verdict, a sort of appeal to Mendicant's previous decision. Except this Bias is designed with a different goal in mind (victory), and his verdict is different: The Forerunner must atone for their sins, but not be destroyed by them.

I haven't been able to take the time to fully flesh out this possible connection between Halo and greek mythology/philosophy, but figured I would give the story page a heads-up in case you guys had seen this already and knew something of it. I'll e-mail again when I have something concrete to give details on. If you have seen this previously, please let me know!

Charlie Fischer

Mendicant Bias, your legend intrigues us so!

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