14. Asterix in Spain
French title: Astérix en Hispanie
Originally published: 1969

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Asterix Spain Julius Caesar occupied entire Spain (Hispañia). Entire? No. A small village still resists against the Roman invaders...

This sounds familiar to Caesar and he personally interferes with this situation. On the way to this village, Caesar and his escort meet Pepe (Pépé), the chief's son of the rebellious village. He decides to use this little boy as a hostage and take him far away to Gaul (Gallia). Almost on the end of his journey Pepe escapes from his terrorised Roman guides.

Pepe Soon he meets Obelix who brings him to his village. Pepe is a demanding person and Getafix (Panoramix) decides that Asterix and Obelix must bring him back home.

First by Unhygienix (Ordalfabétix), fishing boat, then across the mountains they reach Hispañia. Here they taste Spanish (Hispañia's) folklore. Asterix even started a new tradition, bull fighting. They safely bring Pepe back to his father Huevos Y Bacon (Soupalognon y crouton). Then they go back home. Also Obelix learnt something typical from Pepe's country, but will his fellow-villagers appreciate it?

Banquet Pirates Guests
On their return home, our friends are received with the usual enthusiastic welcome. Obelix demonstrates Spanish singing and dancing. Cacofonix the bard is unable to participate for the usual reasons, Fulliautomatix (Cétautomatix) is desparately longing for a fish ... Travelling to Spain in the fishing-boat of Unhygienix our friends are shopping aboard the pirates' ship for a change of diet. The story has two guests: Don Quixote and Gerard Calvi.
Allusions and Details
(page 5)
Already the first page is full of details. The first plate depicts daily life in the village. See the annoyed chief carrying the shoppings of his wife, and the even more annoyed persons carrying the chief on his shield.
Caesar is giving his brave men an 'ear', or as the Spanish think, he gets their ear after a brave fight, like in the bull fight.
But the last picture is the best! The woman working in the fields in the background is easily overlooked.
(page 11)
Did you see the two legionaries bump onto one another? Well, this little accident is nothing compared to what will happen to them next.
(page 13)
Illustrating soft talk by flowers has been used in other stories too.
(page 18)
This book has the first appearance of Unhygienix (Ordalfabetix). So we are watching here the start of a new phenomenon in the books, the famous fish battles. And the rivalry between smith and fishmonger.
(page 20)
The impressive instrument is called a Carnyx. And did you see Asterix cleaning the dishes same page above? He wears an apron!
(page 22)
The officials (lictors) preceeding Caesar carry the ⇒fasces (⇒Wikipedia), bundles of rods with an axe head, an icon representing the strength and power of ancient Rome. Later this turned into the word 'fascism'.
(page 27)
Characteristic for present day Spain. At the beginning of the holiday season the tourists block the highways entering Spain with their caravans. As we see next page, many tourists seem to speak German (in Gothic script). Also, on page 39 we see tourists watching the druids, Gothic tourists (we see their helmets) but also British tourists (orange moustache, tweed trousers).
(page 32)
Fighting against wind mills, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza (⇒Wikipedia characters by Miguel de Cervantes) as themselves.
(page 34)
As you can see road repair in Spain is a serious business. This must be a French comment on the sitiuation when the book was published.
(page 39)
Processions of druids al over Spain. They probably present the modern day catholic processions, perhaps by the various fraternities in the Semana Santa (⇒Wikipedia), the holy week before easter. Mind the tourists in the crowd.
  (page 44)
Gerard Calvi (French composer, composed the music for the first Asterix movie) as leader of the music players in the arena.