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October 26, 2003

And as for connections to the Persian Empire, Alex Ross has got a few words he would like to add.

The Persians, at the time of war with Greece, had nations such as Egypt, Lydia, and Babylonia under their control. This parallels the fact that the Covenant is not a pure race, rather, a collection of subdued races (grunts, jackals, hunters, brutes, anything else we donît know about), under the true races of the empire, the elites and the prophecy.

Also, Persiaîs government is also unlike Greeceîs, with a monarch in control, instead of a democratic council; Darius during the First Persian War, and his son Xerxes during the Second Persian War. The Second Persian War more effectively ties in to the current Halo plot however. The rank of monarch is not too different from the prophecy rank either; the prophecy themselves exercise extreme power when they draft the other nations of the Covenant to duke it out with humanity. Xerxes instituted a draft upon the subverted nations, raising a large army to battle Greece. The elite rank parallels the special Persian army division, known as the Immortals. The Immortals were more than men to Xerxes, they were treasures, symbols of imperial might with their superior battle skill, unmatched by anyone else in the Persian Empire. Unlike the Ancient Spartans, the Immortals were more elaborately dressed for battle, and displayed color and gem to the extreme. This parallels the elites coming in numerous colors, from the ocean blue to the crimson red and the terrifying black and the imposing gold, all designed to reveal power and intimidate the enemy. General Mardonious of the Battle of Plataea, the decisive battle of the 2nd Persian War, is an example of a Persian that parallels a warlord elite. The rest of the army is either lower Persians, or a collective from conquered nations, just like the rest of the Covenant.

The Covenant forces more closely resemble both the colour and the shape of the Persian military as time goes on. The Immortals, though terribly mortal individually, were amassed in numbers great enough to dispel the appearance of any such weakness. The Covenant, short the better part of an armada after the events of Installation 04, are seemingly none the worse, their juggernaut still looming over Earth. What can Humanity muster to defeat a threat seemingly immune to even the greatest of physical losses?

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