6. Asterix and Cleopatra
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French title: Astérix et Cléopâtre
Originally published: 1965

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translations of this book
Asterix Annotations
Review at Alea Iacta Est
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Description
Cleopatra History: Cleopatra Daughter of Ptolemy XII, Cleopata (69 B.C. - 31 B.C.) ruled Egypt between 51 and 30 B.C. After Caesar's assasination she won the heart of Mark Anthony. She killed herself soon after Mark Anthony's defeat at Actium in 31 B.C.

Astérix et Cleopatre
Album description:
Cleopatra is furious at Caesar because of his disparaging behaviour towards the Egyptian citizens. So she bets Caesar her people can build him a palace within three months. The honour of the job goes to Edifis (Numérobis). And with thoughts of becoming a meal for a crocodile on not reaching the deadline, he travels to the village of the famous Gauls and asks his old friend Getafix (Panoramix) for help. The village druid travels together with Asterix and Obelix to Alexandria to help Edifis out. With the magic potion the palace soon gets its final form. Our friends even have some time left for a visit to the famous sphinxes and pyramids.

Numerobis Alas Artifis (Amonbofis), Edifis rival architect who didn't get the job, tries to sabotage the building of the palace. Also Caesar doesn't feel like losing the bet when he hears of the building progress from his Egyptian spy Mintjulep (Ginfiz). However, even getting lost in a pyramid, poisoning and rocks destroying the almost finished palace, does not keep our friends from winning the bet.

And Edifis? After completely been covered by gold coins his future is building the most beautiful buildings together with his new friend Artifis ...
     
Banquet Pirates Guests
Under the cherry tree blossoming. Cacofonix bound and gagged. The story ends with Majestix commenting on the fashionable stone column Obelix is crafting, instead of his usual menhirs. On their way to Egypt A&O meet the pirates. The pirate captain scuttles its own ship, which Obelix thinks is very unsportive. On the return voyage we see them as rowers in the galley, trying to earn money for a new ship. None reported.
Allusions and Details
(page 0)
Cleopatra is a historical epic film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison (Julius Caesar) and Richard Burton (Mark Antony) and a host of other stars. Released in 1963, the film was a box office smash. ⇒IMDB
(page 6)
A rare picture redrawn for the English edition. Although not visible in my scan, all dice show 6 on top, for the game VI-VI-VI, whereas the original shows 1-2-3, for the game 123.
(page 12)
That is ΕΔΙΦΙΣ, Edifis, in Greek. No need to draw your attention to the state of his house...
(page 19)
According to specialists (⇒German site) these are real hyroglyphs, copied from a text called book of the dead, the common name for the ancient Egyptian funerary text (⇒Wikipedia), including the misprints in the text used.
Just above we see a great visual joke: the pronounciation of Obelix is not quite right, but still understandable.
(page 22)
As far as I learned, the nose of the sfynx was ruined by French soldiers under Napoleon. But here we find another story.
(page 26)
Again according to the specialists, this row of rams was found in Karnak rather than in Luxor at the time.
(page 33)
A newspaper, in ancient Egypt? Even better when we look at the comics: Ptarzan and Pnuts. There are no Peanuts in the original French edition (neither in the modern English edition). This is another redrawn detail.
(page 39)
Reality becomes funny in the hands of Uderzo. Look for '⇒testudo' on the web. (⇒Wikipedia)
(page 42)
This taster has just begun his job: look at his size compared to the other one.
(page 47)
No comment. (⇒Wikipedia)