Chapter 20. Asterix in Corsica

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


Asterix & Obelix free a Corsican prisoner and help him return to his homeland There they learn the ways that Corsicans deal with the local Romans...
This is sort of a "reunion" issue at the beginning. I'm not going to redo all the names, I'll just point back to the original stories. It also contains a picture of the isle of Corsica with a massive number of forts on it, all named... That I'll do separately.

Table 20.1. Asterix in Corsica - Roman forts in Corsica

Page, Panel Comment
Geranium A flower
Postscriptum Postscript: p.s. at the end of a letter
Delphinium Small member of the buttercup family
Ultimatum A final demand
Podium A speaking stand
Pandemonium Confusion
Bunkum B.S., garbage
Welcum Welcome
Tedium Something boring
Addendum An addition
Vademecum Something carried around for constant use
Potassium An element
Aluminum An element
Desideratum Something needed and wanted
Quoderatdemonstrandum (east) Quod erat demonstrandum = which was the thing to be proved (Euclid). Used in proofs as QED.
Sodium An element
Saeculasaeculorum Saecula saeculorum: world without end (from Catholic Latin Mass). (alt.) forever (lit. An age of ages)
Strontium An element
Referendum A meeting on a subject
Adinfinitum Ad infinitum: so on to infinity
Sternum The flat bone your ribs attach to in front
Quoderatdemonstrandum (west) See QED (east)
Chrysanthemum A flower
Humdrum Boring, commonplace
Indecorum Lack of good conduct
Modicum A little bit
Calcium An element
Crematorium Where they burn corpses
Chewingum Chewing gum
Euphonium A brass wind instrument
Opium A drug
Harmonium Small reed organ
Premium Extra charge for something in demand
Mausoleum Above ground burial house for dead people
Vanitasvanitatum Vanitas vanitatum: vanity of vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:2, Vulgate)
Radium An element
Axium Axiom: something universally accepted as true
Factotum A handyman

Table 20.2. Asterix in Corsica - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 1, Panel 1 "And When I'm Dead..." = A real song that goes "And when I'm dead / don't bury me at all / Just pickle my bones / in alcohol"
Page 1, Panel 3 Alea jacta est = the die is cast (Julius Caesar)
Page 2, Panel 2 "This Time Tomorrow, Where Shall I Be" = Part of this was sung by Alec Guinness in the Lavender Hill Mob
Page 3, Panel 1 Note the cat that features in the camp. Check out Page 10, Panel 1 for its fate... Editor's note: This might not qualify as an annotation. I have decided to add it here to show people that Uderzo is very careful in his drawings (the same people in two consecutive panels stand in the same position relative to each other, for example)
Page 5, Panel 1 See Asterix in Switzerland
Page 5, Panel 2 See Asterix in Spain
Page 5, Panel 3 See Asterix the Gladiator
Page 5, Panel 4 See Asterix in Britain
Page 5, Panel 5 See Asterix and the Banquet
Page 5, Panel 6 See Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield
Page 10, Panel 7 Wellington (and Blucher) defeated Napoleon at Waterloo
Page 12, Panel 2 A reference to the Liberal, Conservative and Labour political parties in the UK.
Page 14, Panel 7 Plaice = a fish
Page 14, Panel 10 O tempora, o mores = O the times! O the morals! From Cicero's first oration against Cataline.
Page 15, Panel 2 This is the start of a lot of bad puns on "Corsica" throughout the book.
Page 15, Panel 8 Errare humanum est = to err is human (Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism l.525)
Page 18, Panel 8 Felix qui... = lucky is he who has been able to understand the causes of things. (Virgil, Georgica ii.490)
Page 21, Panel 5 Ballot boxes... probably a jab about mob influence.
Page 24, Panel 9 'Et tu Brute' = see Asterix the Gladiator
Page 36, Panel 1 Trust the Corsicans to have "flick-swords" (and even a "flick-pilum" ;-) to match their knives.
Page 41, Panel 6 Napoleon had a bad habit of slipping his hand into his jacket on his chest.

Table 20.3. Asterix in Corsica - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Perfidius Perfidious: evil
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus. Caricature of French actor Raimu.
Boneywasawarriorwayayix Boney was a warrior, way ay ay... this is a line from a song about Napoleon Bonaparte (Boney). The "way ay ay ix", "pom tiddley pom," "hey nonny no," etc. are all used as fillers in English folksongs, for instance "There was a lover and his lass, with a hey and a ho and a hey-nonny-no...". Also note how Cacofonix sees the potential for a song in Page 11, Panel 1.
Vermicelli Vermicelli: a pasta
Mortadella An Italian sausage
Courtingdisastu Courting disaster
Lethargix Lethargic: tired, sleepy
Carferrix Car ferry. Or, Carferrax (or carfax): a place where four roads meet.
Olabellamargaritix O la Bella Margarita: a Spanish song popular with buskers.
Violincellix Violincello, a musical instrument
Chipolata A small thin sausage. In Dutch it is a pudding with biscuits and liquor.
Salamix Salami
Potatognocchix Potato gnocchi: small potato dumplings with sauce
Seminolagnocchix Seminola gnocchi: Seminola is a British school lunch dessert: "a really disgusting cream sludge, with the texture of sand"
Spaghettix Spaghetti
Raviolix Ravioli
Tagliatellix Tagliatelli: a pasta
Cannellonix Cannelloni: a pasta
Lasagnix Lasagna
Tortellinix Tortellini: a pasta
MacAronix Macaroni
Desiderata Title of a famous poem by Max Ehrmann
Fettucinix Fettucini: a pasta
Errata Errata: later corrections to a book
Rigatonix Rigatoni: a pasta