Asterix and the Cauldron: Latin Jokes Explained

Book 13 - Asterix and the Cauldron


The Story: Asterix has been banished from his village after losing a cauldron full of coins. Tired and hungry, he heads toward a new inn established by the Pirates.

pacem appellant

Professor Ibrox explains: 

"Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant means 'Where they create a desert, they call it peace.' It's from this guy Tacitus. He's most famous for his Annales. His Latin is very complicated and stylised, so the Annales are a pain in the arse at times. (Tee hee hee!)

"This quote is from his book about Agricola. Agricola was a general who won battles all over the British Isles - even in Scotland! A great Caledonian chieftain - think an ancient Walter Smith - gave a big Braveheart speech. It was basically an epic whinge about the Romans and their so-called Pax Romana. The quote could be rewritten, 'It's easy to have peace when everyone's dead'.

"In the comic, the quote is again used to complain about the Romans - this time for not paying their bills. Not exactly as bad as laying waste to the whole of Europe, but if it's your restaurant, and none of your customers ever pay, I can see how that'd be annoying.

"By the way, I want to put on record that I spotted and enjoyed that 'on the slate' gag. More great writing there."