13. Asterix and the Cauldron
French title: Astérix et le chaudron
Originally published: 1969

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Asterix Cauldron On a sunny day our famous village gets visitors. It's Whosemoralsarelastix (Moralélastix), chief of another Gaulish village. He doesn't like to pay tax to the Romans, so he suggests he hides his cauldron full with sestertii (sestertiën) in Asterix's village. After all, Asterix village isn't occupied, so they never pay tax.

Asterix gets the honour to keep an eye on the cauldron for the length of time the tax collector is in their area. The next day, as Asterix takes a look in his cottage, the cauldron is empty. A disaster for Asterix.
It's a Gaulish custom that he must leave his village and may not return until he brings back the stolen money.

Obelix is worried and goes after Asterix to help him during his search. First they go to the Roman camps, but even the Roman soldiers haven't seen their pay in a long time. They started a boar business, they try to earn money as gladiators and even betting on horses, but nothing works. Finally they have some luck, the tax collector crosses their path and he has got enough money to refill the cauldron. But the coins do have a strange smell and suddenly Asterix understands what has happened. The cauldron was used for onion soup before Whosemoralsarelastix (Moralélastix) put his money into it!

The unmasking takes place at the village of Whosemoralsarelastix (Moralélastix) nearby the sea. The cauldron with his valuable contents falls off the rock on to a passing ship by accident.

Yes, the ship of the well-known pirates who for once are very happy to be a part of one of Asterix adventures...
Banquet Pirates Guests
The story ends with the usual festivities. Cacofonix is dangling from a tree. Obelix wonders why one would use a cauldron to put money in rather than onion soup. Our pirate friends have started a restaurant in their ship on the beach. Unfortunately, Asterix and Obelix search the place for their lost money. All ends well when the cauldron falls into the pirate ship together with the money (onion flavoured!) As guests have been reported Uderzo and Goscinny, and Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
Allusions and Details
(page 5)
Getafix (Panoramix) is picking flowers. Are these used below on the same page to decorate Obelix' menhir in honour of the arriving guest?
(page 7)
Whatever the men are discussing, women have there own responsibilities. Even when one is married to a chief.
(page 9)
This is a impressive scene of good bye. Note how Cacofonix (Assurancetourix) the bard is embraced by the smith to keep him from singing. See how the shiefs shake hand, and likewise their shield bearers!
(page 10)
Village on alert, all in their nightly gowns. Except for Asterix who has been on guard, and Oelix who has been finishing some boars.
(page 12)
Once you have finished the book, read it again, but now only looking how the actions of Dogmatix (Idefix) represent the moods and actions of his boss Obelix.
(page 19)
It is a real pleasure to study the picture of the great market at Condatum and see the activities that are going on. Did you see the lottery (Roman numerals on the turning wheel) and its prizes?
(page 29)
The 'modern' theater at Condatum. [need better picture] [info on when it was built in reality]
Another example of original Roman architecture faithfully represented in this story is the Hippodrome on page 34.
  (page 30)
Uderzo and Goscinny in the audience
(leftmost and rightmost). Also see: The creators Goscinny and Uderzo...
(page 35)
White, red, blue, and green. This reminds us of the game of horses on a race track, to be advanced by throwing dice (aah, search for ⇒Totopoly on google).
(page 43)
image Valery Giscard d'Estaing as tax collector.
At the time of this comic he was the minister of finance.
Later he became the president of France.
He speaks in the style of official forms, a great joke.
(page 44)
Very wise indeed: behind our heroes in the forest are boars on tip-toes.