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Asterix and the Banquet is the fifth volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was first serialized in Pilote issues 172-213 in 1963.

Plot summary

After the latest bashing of the Roman legions by the Gauls, the Romans try to contain the threat from the Gaulish village by building a stockade around it, threatening to isolate the Gauls from the rest of the world. In response, Asterix and Obelix make a bet with them: the two Gauls will break out and claim their right as Gauls to travel freely all over their land, collecting the local delicacies and bringing them back to prove their point. Ham from Lutetiamarker, fizzy wine from Durocortorummarker, fish stew from Massilamarker in the south... soon their shopping bag is full.

Outwitting Romans, thieves, and a couple of traitorous Gauls, they set off for home... but who's that little dog that has been following them all the way from Lutetia?

List of items



References

  • The idea of the story (and its French title) was inspired by the famous Tour de France bicycle race. The sack carried by Obelix reflects the race leader's jersey colour (yellow — with a patch for the number).
  • The Latin phrase "Exegi monumentum aere perennius" is uttered by a legionnaire during the construction of a wall (page 7). This is a reference to the same quote made by the Roman poet Horace. Translated, it means: "I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze."
  • Fun is poked at various French regional stereotypes:
    • The inhabitants of Normandy are shown as being unable to give a direct answer and smothering their food in creamy sauce.
    • The traffic jams in Parismarker (Lutetiamarker in the comic strip) are spoofed.
    • The phrase: "Je vous promets qu'on n'a pas fini d'en parler de l'affaire du courrier de Lugdunum !" is a reference to the trial "le courrier de Lyon", where an innocent one was sentenced for the murder of postmen and the theft of their mail in 1796.
    • The inhabitants of Lutetia (Paris) are shown going to Nicæ (Nice) for their summer holiday. (Obelix refers to Nicae as the "Gaulish Riviera".) Like modern Parisian travelers, the visitors from Lutetia cause huge traffic jams with their carts on the road into Nicæ, and huge crowds on the beach.
    • The inhabitants of Massilia (Marseillemarker) are hot-blooded and shown to exaggerate enormously.
  • The idea of using bread crumbs to find one's way back is a reference to Hansel and Gretel or the French fairy tale Hop o' My Thumb.
  • The scenes in the tavern in Massilia on page 36 are references to the film César (1936) by Marcel Pagnol. The characters are caricatures of the actors in the film, including Raimu.
  • After Asterix and Obelix sink the pirates ship, an elderly pirate quotes Lucan in The Pharsalia: "Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa catoni." ("The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the lost cause was pleasing to Cato.")


Notes

  • On the cover of the album, the sack is coloured incorrectly (green with a yellow patch).
  • In the original French version, the camp centurion in this story (Gracchus Nenjetépus) is the same as that of the previous volume, Asterix the Gladiator — the only time a centurion appears in more than one album. However, in all major translations, he is given a different name in this volume (in the English version, he is named Gracchus Armisurplus in Asterix the Gladiator, and Lotuseatus in this album).
  • Dogmatix is introduced in this book. He is first seen outside the pork butcher's shop in Lutetia. He follows Asterix and Obelix (who do not notice him during the entire journey) all across Gaul back to their village. Obelix notices him before the victory feast because he barks for the very first time and is rewarded with a bone.
  • Dogmatix was originally supposed to be a literally running gag in this story alone. However, the authors decided that he should stay in the series as a mascot, violating Goscinny's original no-pets rule.
  • In the first version, the tour was supposed to go the other way around.
  • In another initial version, other towns were considered but eliminated for lack of space:
  • Even though Asterix and Obelix visit Rotomagus (Rouenmarker) and Gesocribatum (Le Conquet), they don't buy their local specialties (probably crêpes for Le Conquet).


In other languages

  • Bengali: Gaul Desh Parikramay Asterix
  • Catalan: La volta a Gàl·lia
  • Czech: Asterix a Cesta kolem Galie
  • Danish: Gallien rundt
  • Dutch: Asterix en de Ronde van Gallia
  • Finnish: Asterix lyö vetoa (Asterix Makes a Bet)
  • French: Le Tour de Gaule d'Astérix
  • German: Tour de France
  • Greek: Ο γύρος της Γαλατίας
  • Hungarian: Galliai körutazás
  • Italian: Asterix e il Giro di Gallia
  • Limburgish: ne gansen toer...
  • Norwegian: Gallia Rundt
  • Polish: Wyprawa dookoła Galii
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Uma Volta Pela Gália
  • Portuguese (Portugal): A volta à Gália
  • Russian: Астерикс и Банкет
  • Serbian: Земља Гурманија
  • Spanish: La vuelta a la Galia
  • Swedish: Gallien runt
  • Türkçe: Asteriks Galya Turu



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