Chapter 31. Asterix and the Actress

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


An actress masquerading as Panacea (see Asterix the Legionary) gets sent by Pompeii to recover his helmet and sword that is currently in the possession of the Gauls.
The book has a dedication that says "à Hugo mon petit-fils". What does this mean??? This is the first new book to be released in 5 years. The humour seems a bit forced. We meet Asterix and Obelix's parents for the first time. A number of characters from previous books also make a reappearance.

Table 31.1. Asterix and the Actress - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 1, Panel 3 Continuity problem. In Page 1, Panel 1 all the chimneys are smoking. Here, in a matter of just minutes only two chimneys are shown as smoking.
Page 2, Panel 2 This is the first reference in the books to Asterix and Obelix sharing the same birthday. This appears in variance with only Obelix celebrating his birthday in Obelix and Co.
Page 3, Panel 4 HGV: Pun on the French TGV
Page 4, Panel 6 The souvenir business of Astronomix and Obeliscoidix is called Modernities and not Antiques
Page 7, Panel 2 Tremesdelirious' "Hic, Haec, Hoc": Latin declension of 'Hic'. See annotation for 'Page 22, Panel 8' of Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield
Page 7, Panel 7 "that play Waiting for Godotrix' == A reference to the absurdist play 'Waiting for Godot'. Why is this reference being made here???
Page 11, Panel 1 The character Panacea returns from Asterix the Legionary
Page 15, Panel 3 Obelix's response to Panacea ("Wkrstksft") is exactly the same as his response in Page 3, Panel 10 of Asterix the Legionary
Page 16, Panel 2 Baccus: The Roman god of wine. Son of Jupiter and Semele. The Greek equivalent was Dionysus, son of Zeus and Semele.
Page 26, Panel 1 Ceterarum Rerum Prudens: Prudent in other things (Pliny the Younger???)
Page 29, Panel 3 Graffiti on the pillar outside the tavern has "Romans Go Home" scrawled on it. A reference to Monty Python's 'Life of Brian'???
Page 29, Panel 6 Lagatoria Provincia: Provincial Legate's Office ???
Page 31, Panel 8 La Donna E Mobile: Can be translated as "women are fickle". Opera composed (1851) by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Page 31, Panel 10 "Lost my little Dogmatix": We last saw Digmatix in Page 24, Panel 8.
Page 32, Panel 6 Skivers: Informal for a person who is absent from work without permission.
Page 33, Panel 2 Convenience: A public toilet.
Page 33, Panel 3 Yobbos: A slang term for an uncouth blue collar individual or thug.
Page 39, Panel 2 "Tell the Roman politely..." = A reference to Asterix the Legionary
Page 39, Panel 9 Quis, Quid, Ubi, Quibus, Auxilis, Cur, Quomodo, Quando: Who, what, where, with what, why, how, when? (in that order)
Page 42, Panel 8 The statuette is an obvious reference to the Oscars.
Page 42, Panel 10 When did women first win Oscars???
Page 44, Panel 6 Quid Novi: Whats new; And looks like Dogmatix has done what his master steadfastly refuses to do - get "married".

Table 31.2. Asterix and the Actress - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Obeliscoidix A parasite, often called a rabbit stomach worm, found in many species of rabbits and hares throughout much of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
Astronomix Astronomy (Greek: astronomia = astron + nomos, literally, "law of the stars"). The scientific study of the universe, including the solar sytem, stars and galaxies.
Bogus Genius Self explanatory.
Tremensdelirius Delerium Tremens: Delerium from alcohol withdrawal. See Asterix and Caesar's Gift
Vanilla Obelix's mother.
Latraviata La Traviata, an opera by Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901)
Fastandfurious Fast and furious.
Soporific Something that induces sleep. Panacea's father.
Sarsaparilla A perennial trailing vine with prickly stems native to tropical America and the West Indies. Its name comes from the Spanish words sarza for "shrub" and parilla for "little vine." Its roots, which are used in herbology, burrow deeply into the ground, while its vines are avid climbers.
Gymnasticapparatus Gymnastic Apparatus.
Coughlinctus Cough Linctus: Cough medication.