List of references to Greek mythology in the Halo series
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Greek mythology has been an inspiration for many names of locations, vehicles, ships and operations in the Halo Universe.
- Tartarus: Tartarus was named after the worst, most cruel part of the Underworld, where the original Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires were sealed by their Titan parents, and later the Titans themselves became inhabitants of Tartarus. The worst people and things were said to go to Tartarus for eternal torture, as is referenced to when Tartarus burns the Mark of Shame into the Arbiter as punishment for failing to protect Halo.
- Station Delphi: Delphi was an important Ancient Greek religious center and home to the Oracle of Delphi.
- Argonaut: The Argonauts were a band of heroes, who in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece.
- Déjà: One of the lessons Déjà taught involved the famous Battle of Thermopylae. Déjà took on the appearance of an ancient Greek goddess, and although which one is not specified, she seems to look like Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war.
- Chiron: In Halo: Combat Evolved a multiplayer map is called Chiron TL-34. Chiron was a Centaur who trained many heroes including Achilles and Heracles.
- Iris: Iris was a minor god of the Rainbow and the Messenger of the gods, like Hermes.
- Prometheus: A Titan who stole fire from god Zeus and gave it to mortals. He was subsequently punished by Zeus and his brother, Poseidon, the kings of Olympus by being forced to endure his liver being pecked out in the mornings by the vulture, Ethon, having it regrown, and then pecked out again the next day.
- Cyclops: The exoeskeleton and the MJOLNIR variant are named after the Cyclops, a kind of mythical giant with only one eye in the middle of their head. Some were descendants of the Titans, while another was the son of Poseidon. They were known to be skilled in the art of forging.
- UNSC Heracles: This warship was named after Heracles, a divine hero famous for going through the Labors of Heracles.
- Melissa: Melissa is the name of one of the nymphs who helped save Zeus from his father, Cronus. She hid him in the hills, feeding him milk from Amalthea and honey. When Cronus discovered this, he turned her into a worm. After Zeus came into power, he changed her into a queen bee, not being able to change her from an insect form.
- Pallas Athena: Athena was the goddess of Wisdom, Craft, and War; Pallas was her second name.
- Gorgon: The deleted Halo Wars unit, the Gorgon, is named after a mythical beast. Gorgons were said to turn all those that looked at them into stone. In Halo Wars, they were originally intended to be an anti-air unit.
- Tantalus: Tantalus was a system containing a human colony. They were ordered to send all their ships to aid Reach when it came under attack. Tantalus in Greek Mythology was punished in the Underworld to never be able to eat or drink anything.
- Charybdis IX: Charybdis was the daughter of Poseidon. Originally a sea-nymph, she was turned into a sea monster by Zeus, after angering him by stealing Heracles' cattle. She also had a sister who wasn't a daughter of Poseidon.
- Calypso-class Exfiltration Craft: Calypso is the daughter of Atlas. In the Odyssey, she held Odysseus captive for 7 years until Zeus ordered her to release him.
- UNSC Minotaur: A UNSC Prowler, this ship was probably named after the beast, sometimes referred as Asterios, slain by Theseus, a man with a bull's head.
- The M145D Mobile Artillery Assault Platform is armed with a Zeus 320mm plasma cannon; this weapon is named after the chief deity of the Greek pantheon. A lightning bolt is painted on the vehicle's turret in further reference to Zeus.
- Atlas: A UNSC carrier called Atlas and a MJOLNIR [GEN2] variant are named after this Titan. A depiction of the Atlas punishment myth also appears on the patch for Fireteam Colossus.
- In response to the conflict between Cortana and the Warden Eternal, Linda-058 remarked "I don't like this. Feels like Hera and Zeus, arguing over the mortals."
- Argus: Argus Panoptes is an all-seeing giant with one hundred eyes; Linda-058's MJOLNIR armor is named after this giant, and the helmet's design is attached with multiple types of optical equipment.
- Arestor: Argus' father. The Argus armor has a skin named after him.
- Achilles: Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. A MJOLNIR [GEN2] armor variant is named after him with the appearance of the helmet based on the Corinthian helmet.
- Medusa: The ST/Medusa missiles are named after one of the three Gorgon sisters.
- Kratos: The MARAUDER-class Mjolnir has a skin named after the divine personification of strength.
- Leonidas: The third movement of the Delta Halo Suite from the Halo 2 Original Soundtrack. Leonidas was a Spartan king from around 488 B.C. to 480 B.C. He died during the Battle of Thermopylae, a battle earlier referenced in this article for its significance in the Halo Universe. A Smart AI is also named after him.
- Archimedes: Archimedes was an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, and inventor, of whom discovered many modern units and techniques such as water displacement.
- Hesiod: The name of this planet is likely a reference to the early Greek poet and rhapsode Hesiod, whose writings serve as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, archaic Greek astronomy, and ancient time-keeping.
- UNSC Herodotus: Herodotus was a major Greek historian that recorded the statistics and events of the Battle of Thermopylae.
- Hannibal: UNSC Hannibal and Hannibal Weapon Systems were named after the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
- Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, is quoted by Dr. Halsey to explain Cortana's motivation to 92738-61842-LC.
- SPARTAN Program: This program was named after the Spartan warriors who originated from the city-state of Sparta in the southern part of ancient Greece. This city-state retained the superior military power in the region between 650 and 363 B.C. Its citizens were following a thrifty way of life. They all exercised in a daily basis, and their children, like those used in the SPARTAN programs, were trained from a from a very early age for many years.
- It was mentioned in Halo: The Fall of Reach that the Spartan-IIs look like Greek gods in their armor.
- Odyssey: The Odyssey is an ancient Greek novel written by Homer. It talks about the adventures of Odysseus since he left the Battle of Troy until he reached Ithaca, his homeland.
- Kurt Ambrose: Kurt-051's surname, Ambrose, comes from the word Ambrosia (Αμβροσία). Ambrosia is the drink the immortal Gods of ancient Greece enjoyed to drink, and the source of their power.
- Ichor (used as a word for "blood" in Halo: The Flood and a visor in Halo 5: Guardians): Ichor was the name for the golden blood of the gods at Olympus.
- Origin of the Seasons: In the myth the Origins of the Seasons, when Persephone is able to leave the Underworld, Hades tricks her into eating 7 seeds from a fruit making the time to come back for 7 months.
- An story similar to Orpheus' descent to the Underworld is sung by the k'chamanush in the lesser Ark.
- The ATHLON-class Mjolnir armor is named after the ancient Greek word "Athlon" (ἆθλον), meaning "contest" or "labor".
- 300 Spartan-IIIs from Alpha Company fought and died during Operation: PROMETHEUS, much like the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartan soldiers fought the Persians. In the ancient battle, all of the Spartans died fighting but also inflicted heavy losses on the Persians, paving way for a larger army to later finish the job.