Chapter 25. Asterix and the Great Divide

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


A Gaulish village is split between two chiefs, causing many difficulties for the villagers. When one side enlists the Romans to fight for them, Asterix, Obelix, & Getafix are called in to help...
This is the first book after Goscinny's death. Uderzo was the artist, so the adventures can continue. The story here isn't quite as memorable as some of the best Asterixes, but is actually pretty good. Notice how the two leaders Cleverdix and Majestix wear horizontal and vertical strtiped trousers in the beginning. At the end when they're friends again you can see them both wearing chequered trousers.

Table 25.1. Asterix and the Great Divide - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 1, Panel 4 (at least in Dutch and Frysian) Majestix says something like 'The village, that's me'. This is a parody of "l'etat c'est moi" (I am the state). Attributed to King Louis XIV (le Roi Soleil) who is supposed to have spoken these words to the parliament of Paris in the session of April 13th, 1655. Interestingly, in the French version he says "le village c'est moi".
Page 2, Panel 3 "sinister" and "dextrous" are old terms for the left and right handed respectively.
Page 4, Panel 3 Roman Geezer = a Cockney rhyming slang ???
Page 10, Panel 4 O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou, Romeo (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet II.ii.33). The whole story is along the lines of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' (except they they don't die).
Page 14, Panel 9 Nunc dimittis = (literally) leave now. Nunc Dimittis is the Latin name of the passage in the second chapter of Like (Luke 2:29-32) that is also commonly called Canticle of Simeon.
Page 17, Panel 7 "Gauls never, never, never will be slaves" = A reference to "Rule Brittania" a song by Thomas Augustine Arne based on the poem of the same title by James Thompson (1700-1748)
Page 28, Panel 4 Requiescamus in pace = Let us rest in peace (Latin Mass for the dead: Requiescant in pace).
Page 38, Panel 1 Caveat emptor = let the buyer beware
Page 40, Panel 1 Aqua vitae = Water of Life. This is sometimes used to refer to Whiskey. The Gaelic for "water of life" is "uisge beatha", from which the word whiskey is derived; (alt.) In Norway there is a strong drink based on potatoes called Akkevit, of one prefers a slightly more fancy spelling, Aquevit; Terra firma = solid ground
Last Page, Last Panel 'Future generations will refuse to believe this'; - A reference to the Berlin wall?

Table 25.2. Asterix and the Great Divide - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Cleverdix Clever Dick: Americans might say "wise ass".
Majestix Majestic: regal, king-like
Histrionix Histrionics: an artificial or affective manner, excessive dramatics
Codfix Codfish
Altruistix Altruistic: unselfish concern for welfare of others
Alcaponix Al Capone: famous American mobster of the 30's
Melodrama Melodrama: extravagantly emotional. Much like histrionics
Angelica Angelic
Schizophrenix Schizophrenic: a mental disorder. In popular use a split personality.
Sourpus Sourpuss
Infectius Virus Infectious virus: transmittable disease
Umbrageous Cumulonimbus Umbrageous: giving shade; cumulonimbus: storm cloud
Congenitalidiotix Congenital idiot: idiocy caused by a birth defect