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Reign: The Obsession of Alexander / Reign: The Conqueror

Based on a Japanese novel, this 13-part series was the result of a collaboration of quite a few of anime's greatest names.  Character and graphic designs were contributed by Peter Chung.  The plot and setting were decidely otherworldly; though events tracked rougly with Alexander of Macedon's actual life, many exotic liberties were taken.  For one thing, the series had him opposed by a cult of Pythagoreans, utilizing a sort of techno-magic based on geometry and convinced that he would destroy the world.  Aristotle, the ghost of Plato, Darius, Roxanne, Pericles, Diogenes, Ptolemy--the series was practically a rolodex of the exalted personages of the ancient Greek world.

In the US, he series aired on a late-night slot on the Cartoon Network.  A feast of anachronism, the imaginaton of its graphic design was truly stunning--the city of Alexandria, built as a giant puzzle-palace in the shape of a human body; massive, bloody battles; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; intricate, clockwork war machines.  Notably, no one in the entire series ever wore any pants. Which was actually an authentic touch, even if the thongs, magic and giant mechanical warriors weren't.


Above is the flag the Persian Empire uses on the battlefield in the course of Reign. Below, the cavalry flag; identical save for a golden triangle in the top left corner.


I don't know if it's based on a historical design, or whether the actual Persians ever used anything resembling a moon-and-star device.  In the series a character mentions that 'the moon is the symbol of Persia.' I'll post an update if anyone cares to enlighten me.
UPDATE:  OK, so I'm told the symbol is totally bogus.  Figures.  Whatever else Reign may have been, a paragon of historical verisimillitude wasn't it.

Copyright someone-or-other 1999