Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

The Covenant Empire, like almost all cultures, keeps a record of its history using its own methods of timekeeping. Unfortunately, the exact measures, if any, of these are a mystery, and there are hints that there may be multiple divisions of each age (9th Age of Reclamation, for example). What is known is that the Covenant divide their recorded time into seven Ages,[1] based on notable events within each. Each age is not necessarily a period of time, but a description of the events within it.

It is speculated that the Age of Reclamation is the last of the ages, when the Covenant fractures during their Civil War.

The Ages[]

Age of Abandonment[]

Main article: Age of Abandonment

The Covenant traces its history back at least 100,000 years, when an ancient species called the Forerunner activated the Halo installations, disappearing from the galaxy. This is referred to as the Age of Abandonment by the Covenant.[1]

Age of Conflict[]

Main article: Ages of Conflict

At some point before the Covenant’s formation, it was recorded that the Sangheili and San'Shyuum waged war against each other, apparently in a power struggle, in what is called the Age of Conflict.[1] Additionally, the Grunt Rebellion took place during the 39th Age of Conflict.[2]

Ages of Discovery & Reconciliation[]

Main article: Age of Discovery
Main article: Age of Reconciliation

What is known is that the Prophets' discovery of ancient Forerunner artifacts during the Age of Discovery[1] and the end of the war during the Age of Reconciliation,[1] became the foundation upon which the Covenant was founded. The Prophets promised to find the means of the Forerunners' transcendence and the Elites promised to protect the hierarchy. These ages marked the beginnings of the Covenant, the start of the Covenant’s search for Forerunner artifacts, and presumably the Covenant Writ of Union.

The Covenant ship Truth and Reconciliation that appeared on Alpha Halo may have been named after this time period.

Age of Conversion[]

Main article: Age of Conversion

These were followed by the Age of Conversion,[1] where the Covenant started its subjugation of other species in its search for Forerunner artifacts, incorporating them into its society, adding their strengths to its own. It is likely that the Taming of the Hunters occurred during this time period, requiring the creation of another Arbiter and that the Covenant defeated the Lekgolo only by threatening to destroy their homeworld. This period most likely included the incorporation of the Unggoy, Kig-Yar, Yanme'e, and Huragok in separate Ages of Conversion.

Age of Doubt[]

Main article: Ages of Doubt

The Ages of Doubt[1] are speculated to be a group of periods during which many of the Covenant began to lose faith in their mission. During the 39th Age of Conflict, the Grunt Rebellion occurred, instigated by the Jackals, requiring the creation of an Arbiter to quell, and led to an Age of Doubt. The last Age of Doubt, the 23rd, ended in the year 2525, in human counting, leading into the Age of Reclamation.

Age of Reclamation[]

Main article: Ages of Reclamation

The Age of Reclamation[3] was marked by the Human-Covenant war and the incorporation of the Jiralhanae into the Covenant's military. Originally, the war had been started by the Prophets of Truth, Mercy and Regret to prevent the majority of the Covenant learning that the humans were "descendants" of the Forerunners, their gods, and that the Covenant religion was based on a lie. As the decades wore on, tensions rose within the Covenant for a variety of reasons. Some Sangheili grew increasingly frustrated at apparent Prophet favoritism toward the Jiralhanae. Others began to question the validity of their holy crusade, beginning to see the humans as worthy adversaries rather than heretics. After the Changing of the Guard, where the Sangheili Honor Guards were replaced with Jiralhanae, these tensions erupted into full civil war in 2552 with the beginning of the Great Schism,[4] where the Sangheili broke away from the Covenant, wresting away significant territories, personnel, and equipment, and allying themselves (at least grudgingly) with the humans they had formerly fought.[5]

The Age of Reclamation also marked the discovery of a number of important Forerunner installations and outposts, ranging from minor artifacts uncovered on human colonies, to the massive installations of the Halo Array, such as the individual Halos, to two Shield Worlds, ending with the discovery and subsequent destruction of the Ark.

Known Timeline[]


  • The Covenant does not base its measure of time on one age coming after another, they base the age entirely on the state and being of the Covenant. For instance, the 9th Age of Doubt did not come before the 9th Age of Reclamation; it is instead the 29th Age of Doubt and then the 9th Age of Reclamation. Furthermore, each Age is broken up into Units and Cycles, the precise values of which are unclear.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 HaloStory - Joe Staten Interview - October 2004
  2. "No one had known that the infusion incident, as it came to be known, was the most important of many small grievances that precipitated the Unggoy rebellion, a civil war that ushered in the Covenant's 39th Age of Conflict" Halo: Contact Harvest p. 151
  3. Halo 2, The Heretic
  4. Ghosts of Onyx
  5. http://halo3.com