Asterix and the Big Fight: Latin Jokes Explained

Book 7 - Asterix and the Big Fight


The story: The wily Romans have hatched a plan to finally defeat the Gauls - by using a pro-Roman Gaul (Cassius Ceramix) to defeat the chief of Asterix's village (Vitalstatistix) in single combat. Without magic potion, Vitalstatistix is sure to lose. He tries to reason with Cassius Clay. I mean, Cassius Ceramix.


Professor Ibrox explains: 

"Not another word, says Ceramix, Victurus te saluto. It means 'He who is going to win says whassup!' It's kind of a diss. It slightly reminds me of Rocky 4 where the Russian guy goes 'I vill break you'.

"But mostly it reminds me of my second divorce. I met her in court in her home town just outside Manila, and she handed me a piece of paper saying 'Victurus te saluto, bitch.' I was impressed she'd learned enough Latin and English in our nine sordid months of wedlock to write something so spiteful yet so concise.

"Did she win? All I know is that I lost. In the comic, Ceramix ends up back where he started, at least. But that girl took half my money, the dog, and my collection of autographed football shirts. She never even saw Davie Cooper play. Why should she get his jersey? I'm over it now. I got payback. Don't ask me how."


The story: The Romans learn that Getafix is alive despite all their plotting. Felonius Caucus isn't one to give up - he announces that all they have to do is get Getafix before the Big Fight.

quod erat demonstrandum

Professor Ibrox explains:

"This is yet another of those stealth jokes you can miss despite dozens of reads. Quod erat demonstrandum is pretty well known - it translates as 'which was the thing to be proved'. People us it when they think they've won the argument. For example, 'Of course I won the divorce. I got half your money and all your treasure possessions. QED.'

"But most people who use QED in conversation can't remember what the Q and the E and the D stand for. So they say 'quite easily done'. I really never noticed the joke in this panel until I read about it on another website. Pure, pure genius."


The story: The Roman centurion, Nebulus Nimbus, wants a volunteer to go and spy on the Gauls. He chooses a legionary who is stuck in a cauldron. The volunteer doesn't really want to volunteer, so he stays put in the pot.


Professor Ibrox explains: 

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country. Well, yeah, as long as your country is Scotland. It's funny because in the previous panel he asks not to be cooked with too much salt, because it's sweet to die for your country. Some critics thought that joke was a bit unsavoury.

"The character of Nebulus Nimbus is based on Mussolini. He shouts all the time and has a fixed, sweaty scowl. This 'boiling point' reference is a pun on the the guy being heated in the pot. The best line is from the eagle-shaped guy on the right. Stir him, or else he'll stick.

"I loved Asterix when I was younger. Life was much more innocent then. That was before I got sucked into the bitchy, backstabbing realm of academia, and before I got drawn into the murky, sinister underworld of mail order brides and hired assassins."