We have just learned that the next volume of Asterix will be released next October, signed Jean-Yves Ferri, its new screenwriter. We don’t know too much about it yet, but askip the story would be about a big trip, to an unknown destination. BREF, it’s an opportunity to look back on the world of Asterix. In his time, one of the first fathers of the mustachioed René Goscinny, explained that he learned a lot about the Gallo-Roman era, even if he allowed himself to take a lot of liberties when it came to writing. As a result, among all the anachronisms, jokes or inventions that are present in books and films, we still find historical truths that reflect this period well. Here are a few.
1. City names are correct
In Asterix’s Tour of Gaul, for example, we go from town to town, and we call them all by their old name taken from Latin. This means that we visit Rotomagus (Rouen), Lutèce (Paris), Camaracum (Cambrai), Durocortorum (Reims), etc. We’re not going to go all the way, but you got it.
2. The uniforms of the Romans are rather faithful to reality
They would have been drawn by Uderzo according to the colone Trajane which is in Rome. The only difference is that the column illustrates events that happened around 1 century AD while the comic strip takes place around -50. But we’re not going to quibble.
3. We see Brutus, the spiritual son of Caesar
In several albums, the son of Caesar’s mistress appears. He is one of those who, in the real story, stabbed Caesar to death. The emperor is said to have said to his spiritual son ” kai su teknon »which means in Greek you too my son“, even if we often screw up and think that he said the phrase in Latin (” you quoque mi fili“.) The upper Romans liked to speak Greek, it was quite annoying. In the comics, Caesar says several times ” you quoque mi fili to Brutus in circumstances that have nothing to do with it, so it’s funny (if we swear to you.) And in The 12 labors of Asterixwhen Brutus plays with a knife, he is told: drop that knife, you’ll end up hurting someone”, and there too it’s funny because he killed his father. Well ok it’s not very fun to kill your dad, even if it’s not your real dad.
4. There really were meetings of druids
In Asterix among the Goths, Asterix and Obelix accompany the druid Panoramix in the forest of Carnutes until the annual meeting of the druids, to which only the druids can go. Well in the historical reality, it was the same, the druids met in forests between them once a year, and the Carnutes forest was concerned.
5. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra really had a love affair
The two legendary historical figures are indeed really nabbed. It happened when Caesar was cribbing in Alexandria. Cleopatra needed him to help her get her throne back. So to succeed in entering the Roman’s palace, she asked a servant to wrap her in a carpet to go and offer it to her. When César rolled out the carpet, he came across a young girl 30 years younger than him and they loved each other directly.
6. The Gauls liked fighting
Be careful, they were not big barbarians, but the stories of the time readily presented them as easily attracted to fights. Afterwards, you have to be careful with these stories, knowing that one of them, Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, was written by Julius Caesar himself, who wanted to present his opponents as fierce to show that he had managed well to successfully punch them in the face. And then we must remember that the Gauls were full of different peoples with equally different characters. To be taken with tweezers therefore. Or mapa gloves.
7. The Roman camps were like in the comics
Camps with ditches, big palisades and wooden towers and neat tents were really like that. All the tents were organized around that of the general, and paths were traced, the logic of which never changed from one camp to another. The Romans were camping pros.
8. The Gauls were really afraid that the sky would fall on their heads
They believed that the vault of heaven only held together thanks to the will of the gods. We don’t judge. And then ok maybe they weren’t smart but they were brave, because in reality it was the only thing they were afraid of. Whereas you are afraid of spiders. Boloss.
9. The Gauls dressed like this
The 1st century BC Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily claimed that the Gauls dressed in colorful tunics and wide trousers that were tight at the ankles. In addition, it matches the sculptures we found. On the other hand, the thing about the big mustache, that’s just a cliché about the Gauls.
10. The nose of the sphinx was never found
While it didn’t end up hiding under the Giza Sphinx itself, it was indeed broken and where it ended up after was never known. And the one who took the nose off its owner was apparently a very devout Muslim, back in 1378, who couldn’t stand to see peasants making offerings to a pagan god. He would have broken everything by himself with his tools. Then he was hanged for vandalism. We weren’t kidding back then.