Asterix at the Olympics: Latin Jokes Explained

Book 12 - Asterix at the Olympics


The Story: Only Greeks and Romans can enter the Olympics and cover themselves in eternal glory. This means Asterix and the other Frenchies won't be allowed to compete. But wait! After Caesar's conquest of Gaul, Asterix and the others ARE Romans, technically. Hooray for loopholes! The Gauls have a huge party to celebrate. But this is bad news for Centurion Gaius Veriambitius, who is training Rome's best medal prospect.


Professor Ibrox explains: 

"The centurion goes, 'Et nunc reges intelligite erudimini qui judicatis terram'. It means, 'And now, kings, understand; you who decide the fate of the Earth, educate yourselves.'

"He's basically whingeing about Caesar invading France without thinking of the effect it would have on the Centurion's career. How is he supposed to train the best Roman Olympian when there's a village full of French guys with magic potion next door? It's like trying to be the one clean rider in the Tour de France!"



The Story: Turns out magic potions are not allowed in the Games, and the French, surprisingly, agree to the rules. Thus, most prizes (palm leafs) are won by the Greeks. A colossus from Rhodes wins gold in wrestling, all-in wrestling, and boxing. The runners-up wonder if their palms were worth the pain.



Professor Ibrox explains: "Sport keeps you fit... It's like those gags squaddies say in dull or dangerous situations. 'Join the army, they said, see the world, they said.' The phrase is a running gag through the Asterix series. It's used again by the bronze medalist. 'Mens sana in corpore sano' means 'a healthy mind in a healthy body.'

"I remember being taken ill, and doctors had no idea what caused it. I had to stay in hozzy for weeks without moving. My brain was working fine, but my body just wasn't working right. All I could do was blink. Took twenty minutes to place one bet on one horse. Nightmare. Turns out, my ex-wife had been slowly poisoning me because I wouldn't buy her a new fridge. We sorted it out with a new Indesit with the money I saved from not gambling."