Vanja Antonijevic's Reviews > Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield

Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield by René Goscinny
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's review
Dec 28, 2007

really liked it

An excellent comic, at #11. One of the more historically involved Asterix additions.

The Wiki summary:

"The book is inspired by the battle of Alesia, where the Gaulish warrior chief Vercingetorix surrendered to Julius Caesar. However, only the very end of the actual battle appears in the book - the main plot concerns what happened after the battle.

The book begins with Vercingetorix conceding his defeat to Julius Caesar. He throws his weapons at Caesar's feet - or rather, on Caesar's feet. In pain, Caesar hops away to the infirmary while Vercingetorix is arrested. The weapons remain where they were thrown, for several hours, until a curious, somewhat greedy Roman legionary sees that no one's looking, and nicks Vercingetorix's famous shield. He then loses the shield in a game of dice to another legionary, who is himself out of camp without a pass. He is spotted by a drunken centurion, who confiscates the shield. The centurion himself uses the shield to pay for a jar of wine at a nearby Gaulish inn; later on the shield is given by the innkeeper to a survivor of the Battle of Alesia, who wanders off into the night...

Then begins the actual story...."

More Wiki points:

-A running gag in this book is various Gaulish people claiming “I don't know where Alesia is! No one knows where Alesia is!”. The reason for this seems to be their Gaulish pride preventing them from mentioning Vercingetorix's defeat. Actually knowledge of where Alesia has been lost for a long period of time and its likely location has only been rediscovered in the 20th century.

-This book establishes the origin of Vitalstatistix' famous round, blue shield with a white five-pointed star pattern as being Vercingetorix'.

-This is one among a minority of Asterix books where the bard Cacofonix is not tied up and gagged at the feast.

In the Asterix books there is a map of Gaul with the caption that by 50 BC all Gaul was occupied by the Romans, but it does not necessarily mean that the Asterix stories themselves are set at that time. The historical battle of Aleria took place in about the year 52 BC. "

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