Chapter 13. Asterix and the Cauldron

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


Except for the tax collector, this one is pretty forgettable. The tax collector is Valery Giscard d'Estaing (the then minister of finance of France who later became the president).
This, Asterix and Son and Asterix and Caesar's Gift are the only three books where Asterix uses his ever-present sword. He is always carrying it but usually prefers to take some magic potion and fight with his fists. It's interesting to note, too, that though Asterix usually doesn't use his sword, the couple of times he does use it, he is shown to be a very good swordsman.

Table 13.1. Asterix and the Cauldron - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 9, Panel 2 Quo vadis = where are you going?
Page 10, Panel 1 Vae Victis = Woe to the conquered ones. See annotation for Page 1, Panel 10 in Asterix the Gaul
Page 11, Panel 8 Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant = Where they make a wilderness and call it peace (Tacitus 56-120 AD, Agricola 42)
Page 13, Panel 4 Conkered = Conker - a game popular in England in which each player swings a horse chestnut thread on a string to try to break one held by his opponent; also refers to the chestnut itself.
Page 20, Panel 8 Retiary = a gladitor with a net; Velite = a light armed infantryman; Numidian = from North Africa; Cestus = a gauntlet for boxers (from Caestus; not to be confused with cestus, which means girdle)
Page 22, Panel 3 Ave Caesar, morituri... = Hail Caesar, we who are about to die salute you. Said by gladiators in the circus before fighting.
Page 26 Panel 9 Goscinny and Uderzo sitting on the font row of the theatre
Page 29, Panel 8 Hippodrome = literally, "horse racetrack"
Page 30, Panel 3 Quadriage = Four horse chariot.
Page 31, Panel 9 Barclus Bank = Barcley's Bank
Page 37, Panel 8 Quid pro quo = something in return for something else
Page 44, Panel 13 For once, just for once, the pirates are happy.
Page ??, Panel ?? "But money has no smell" = "Pecunia non olet" by Vesparian meaning money doesn't stink. In order to fill depleted state funds, Vesparian introduced, among other things, a new tax on public lavatories. When his son Titus objected, Vesparian held a coin collected under the new tax law to Titus' nose and asked him if it smelled.

Table 13.2. Asterix and the Cauldron - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Chief Whosemoralsarelastix Chief whose morals are elastic or Chief whose morals are last-ix
Pigskidnix Pigs kidneys
Antibiotix Antibiotics: medicines for various infectious diseases
Laurensolivius Laurence Olivier: famous actor
Alecguinus Alec Guinness: famous actor
Confidenstrix Confidence tricks: criminal activities which involve gaining the confidence of the victim
Crismus Bonus Christmas Bonus.