18. Asterix and the Laurel Wreath
French title: Les lauriers de César
Originally published: 1972

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translations of this book
Asterix Annotations
Review at Alea Iacta Est
Asterix Laurels This story starts in Rome. Or...? No, actually it starts in Lutetia (Paris) where the chief Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) and his wife Impedimenta (Bonemine) are shopping. Asterix and Obelix join them also. Not that they wanted to, but what can you do if the chiefs wife orders you to do so.

Impedimenta also promised to visit her brother, against Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) wishes, who doesn't like his brother-in-law at all. As soon as they are in Homeopathix (Homéopatix) house Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) started to wrangle. This quarrel continues while they are eating a meal. After drinking too much wine Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) promised his brother-in-law to prepare him a stew seasoned with Caesar's laurel wreath.

Back to Rome where we can find Asterix and Obelix...

It's not easy to get this laurel wreath. They sell themselves as slaves in the hope to get into Caesar's palace. It seems to work as their master Osseus Humerus (Claudius Quiquilfus) sends them to the palace, but they are captured after being betrayed by Goldendelicius (Gardefréjus), the family's master of the house. After the Gaul's breakout, they search the whole palace for the laurel wreath but they can't find it. Fortunately for Asterix and Obelix they meet Goldendelicius (Gardefréjus) again in a local pub. He got a nice job after he betrayed the Gaul's. He will hold Caesar's laurel wreath above Caesar's head during the next triumphal march. They switch the real laurel wreath for another one and finally Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) can give Homeopathix (Homéopatix) the stew he promised. And it's not only the stew he gives his brother-in-law...

Banquet Pirates Guests
Yes, Cacofonix bound and gagged as usual, but he is surprised to find the brother-in-law of our chief next to him (after receiving a special surprise) and askes him whether he also is a singer. We meet the prirates thriumphally parading into Rome; euh, well they are part of the parade actually. Jean Richard, and a series of classical statues.
Allusions and Details
(page 5)
Uderzo did an extreme good job in depicting the Forum Romanum (⇒Wikipedia). Although not all buildings may have been present in Asterix' days.
Some links. The map at ⇒euratlas gives the names of the buildings. A website that took part in the ⇒thinkquest competition reproduces an artists impression and adds lots of information.
(page 5)
Tourists in the Circus Maximus. Even then!
(page 6)
Here starts a flashback with cinematographic effects: Asterix and Obelix move backwards.
(page 7)
Traffic in the big cities doesn't seem to have changed much.
(page 16)
image This slave is seen in various positions, representing famous statues: The Thinker by Rodin (⇒Wikipedia), ⇒The Laocoon (⇒Wikipedia) by Polydoros and Athanodoros, The Discus Thrower by Myron (⇒Wikipedia).

(page 16)
But I do not know all of them :(
(page 40)
image Jean Richard (1921-2001, French circus director) as circus animal trainer in circus Maximus. Richard became also famous for his incarnation of inspector Maigret (books by Simenon) See ⇒IMDB
(page 41)
In the confusion of the moment the lion of the Circus seems to escape.