Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

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“What is the greater sin, disobedience or desecration?”
— Maccabeus to Dadab[1]

Maccabeus was a Jiralhanae Chieftain and one of the few Jiralhanae Ship Masters prior to the Great Schism. He was honored and respected by his pack for his unshakable faith in the Forerunners. He was also the uncle to the future Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, Tartarus.


Maccabeus ascended to the leadership of his pack the way all Jiralhanae did: by challenging his Chieftain, at the time his own father. In a mortal duel, Maccabeus's father submitted to his death, happy to die by the hands of a loved one, Maccabeus then killed him by slitting his throat with a knife.[2] He commanded the Covenant vessel, Rapid Conversion, a ship that the Sangheili had "given" him, though the Sangheili did downgrade it severely, showing their distrust in the Jiralhanae. However, he upstaged the Sangheili by taking his rebuke in turn. He was not allowed to repair any weapon systems and he was not allowed to have a Huragok on board. Although he was allowed to have a mechanical lift system on his ship, Maccabeus decided to remove it and replace them with multiple, crude ladders as a deliberate affront to the Sangheili (as the shape of their knees gave them great difficulty when climbing).[3]

Battle of Harvest[]

Main article: Battle of Harvest

Maccabeus was one of the first official representatives of the Covenant to meet with the humans. However, the talks went sour when some overeager Unggoy, lead by Tartarus, broke rank and made an early attack on a group of militia recruits. One Unggoy attacked a recruit named Osmo. When Osmo caught a glimpse of his attacker, he attempted to open fire, but it was already too late. The Unggoy split Osmo open across his belly. Maccabeus is also known as the first Jiralhanae to use the vehicle known as the "Chopper," which was one of four created by the Huragok Lighter Than Some, which were originally created as a peace offering for the humans. Maccabeus was severely injured in battle when he was hit by Sergeant Johnson's Warthog and was greatly dishonored in this way. After he had bungled the assault on Harvest, his nephew Tartarus challenged him to a duel because Maccabeus had disobeyed orders from the Prophets about glassing Harvest, but had instead continued his search for relics and a possible Oracle, and had caused the deaths of several Jiralhanae, one of whom was a friend of Tartarus. He was then defeated by Tartarus, who became the new Chieftain of the pack and gained Maccabeus' armor.

Personality and Equipment[]

Maccabeus' weapon of choice is the Fist of Rukt, a large hammer with a stone head that he keeps fastened to his back with a length of leather. He used this ancient cudgel in his duel with Tartarus. Tartarus was able to disarm his uncle and use the Fist of Rukt against him. Maccabeus' last words to Tartarus were: "Never forget the meaning of this Age, nephew." Tartarus then crushed Maccabeus' skull while he clung onto a ladder. Maccabeus' body plummeted into the explosions and fires below. Tartarus returned to Maccabeus' body and stripped him of his Chieftain armor.


  • Maccabeus wielded the Fist of Rukt before it was outfitted with gravity technology.
  • His name may be a reference to the Jewish military hero Judah Maccabaeus, who's last name is derived from the Aramaic word for hammer. His ceremonial weapon would become all the more appropriate considering the potential origin of his name.
  • His favorite food was the smallest thorn of the Thorn Beast when it was properly cooked because once the chieftain worked the thorn back and forth in its socket, it would bring a muscle-bed with it along with a tender ball of meat on a crisp and oily cone which was called an appetizer and a dessert.
  • In Halo: Contact Harvest, his energy shields were powerful enough to withstand fire from about 30 members of the Colonial Militia of Harvest wielding MA5B Individual Combat Weapon Systems, and two with Prototype BR-55s without failing. This may be due to weaker weapons from the Colonial Militia, or that Maccabeus had an early version of the shielding that Tartarus used in his final battle. It may also have been from far range so the bullets would not all hit him.
  • Maccabeus' injuries during the First Battle of Harvest made him use a Magnetic Splint.



  1. Halo: Contact Harvest, page 307
  2. Halo: Contact Harvest, page 344
  3. Halo: Contact Harvest, page 194