AskDefine | Define impedimenta

Dictionary Definition

impedimenta

Noun

1 any structure that makes progress difficult [syn: obstruction, obstructor, obstructer, impediment]
2 the baggage and equipment carried by an army

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /ɪmˌpɛdɪˈmɛntæ/

Noun

impedimenta p
  1. Equipment intended for an activity that serves as more of a hindrance than a help
    • 1949: George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, p20
      Games impedimenta — hockey-sticks, boxing-gloves, a burst football, a pair of sweaty shorts turned inside out — lay all over the floor, and on the table there was a litter of dirty dishes and dog-eared exercise-books.
  2. Plural of impedimentum

Extensive Definition

This is a list of recurring characters in the Asterix comics.

Main characters

Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix (en.) are the first characters with short descriptions usually listed at the beginning of each of the Asterix books (after the map of Gaul). They each have separate articles containing more information. Unless otherwise stated, this article uses the names chosen for the English translations of the books.

Asterix

Asterix is the main character. He is a brave, cunning warrior, of somewhat diminutive size who eagerly volunteers for all perilous missions.
  • French: Astérix (from astérisque, meaning "asterisk", which is the typographical symbol " * " indicating a footnote, or from the Greek word αστήρ (aster), meaning a star). His name is never changed in translations aside from accents and the use of the local alphabet (for example, in Esperanto, Polish, Slovenian, Latvian and Turkish it's Asteriks). The exception from this is in Icelandic where he is known as Ástríkur (Rich of love).

Obelix

Obelix is Asterix's closest friend and works as a menhir delivery man. He is a tall, obese man with two predominant attributes: his phenomenal strength and voracious appetite for food. His strength results from having fallen into Getafix's magic potion as a boy. As a consequence, Getafix will not let him take additional potion for fear of side effects (for example, turning into stone, as shown in Asterix and Obelix all at Sea), something that Obelix finds immensely unfair. The only exception was in Asterix and Cleopatra when they were trapped in a pyramid. His size is possibly due to the effects of the potion. This is questionable because when Obelix is shown as a child, he is still large for his age. Obelix's size is often the brunt of many jokes. In Asterix and the Big Fight a druid mistakes Obelix for a patient with an eating disorder. At the end of the book, Obelix decides to go on a diet but quickly goes back to eating huge quantities of boar.
  • French: Obélix (meaning obelisk ie. a massive monument or the typographical symbol (†) indicating a second footnote) — his name is also almost never changed in official translations (not noting orthographical variations as Obeliks in e.g. Esperanto, Polish or Slovenian) with the notable exception of Turkish where he is Hopdediks (in comic albums Oburiks - obur means "gluttonous").
In Icelandic his name is Steinríkur, roughly meaning "rich in stone" due to Obelix's fascination with stones.

Getafix

Getafix is the village druid. In appearance he is tall with a white beard, white robe, red cloak and usually seen in possession of a small golden sickle. While his age is never stated, in the story of Asterix' birth (where all but the oldest villagers are seen as small children) he appears unchanged. In Asterix and the Big Fight the druid Psychoanalytix (who appears quite old) refers to him as his elder and teacher. Although known for his strength-enhancing magic potion he has many other magical and medicinal potions at his disposal, and acts as the village doctor and occasionally teacher. Asterix (and most other villagers) will consult him whenever anything strange occurs. He does not himself normally engage in combat, whereas most of the villagers enjoy a good punch-up (even with each other). On one occasion in one of the stories explaning Gaulish women, with using Mrs. Geriatrix as an example, with a fight sparked by Impedimanta. The final cut is shown with all the male villagers and two females, Impedimanta and Bacteria included, with Getafix running to stop the punch up, with a piece of fish flying towards him. What he does next (continues to attempt to stop the fight or joins in the brawl) is unknown, although the former is the most likely.
As the only individual able to produce the "magic potion" upon which the villagers rely for their strength, he is the focus of many stories, and the conscience of the village. On a few occasions, he has refused to make the potion when the villagers become too selfish. He has also occasionally been taken prisoner by hostile forces to get access to the potion -- only to be freed again thanks to Asterix and Obelix. Finding ingredients for his potions has also sent Asterix on several adventures.
Getafix is very similar to many wise old men who usually act as mentors and father-figures to the heroes, going all the way from Merlin to Gandalf, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Albus Dumbledore. Under Goscinny, however, Getafix came across as more of just a friend to the protagonists rather than a wise old counselor. He was also, from the very beginning, shown as a figure of fun and had a wonderful sense of humour: in Asterix the Gaul he'd cut his finger while using his sickle and roar with uncontrollable laughter at Asterix' teasing of the Roman Centurion; in Asterix and the Big Fight he was shown as going literally crazy.
  • French: Panoramix ("panoramic" or "wide view" or "he who sees everything") - in most European translations this name is used.
In English, the name is a pun on "getting a fix" - a dose of a drug taken by an addict. In the short-lived American version of the series, he was called Magigimix.
In German, and Scandinavian he is Miraculix.
In Serbian, he is known as Аспириникс (Aspiriniks/Aspirinix), from the drug Aspirin.
In Finnish, he is Akvavitix, from "akvavit", a Scandinavian distilled beverage (derived from Aqua vitae).
In Esperanto, he is Miraklomiks, from miraklo (miracle) and mikso (mix)
In Turkish, his name is Büyüfiks (büyü meaning in Turkish "magic")
In Hindi, he is हकीम वैधिक्स (Hakeem Vaidhix), Hindi for a village doctor.
In Hungarian, he is Magicoturmix, which is not actually a Hungarian composition but is rather expressive.
In Bengali, he is Etashetamix, meaning 'mix this and that'.
In Icelandic, he is Sjóðríkur, roughly meaning 'one who boils'. In comparison, Asterix is 'Ástríkur, 'one who loves'
In Hebrew, אשפיקס (Ashafix), meaning 'master of the craft'.
In Welsh, he is Crycymalix, bearing a resemblance to cryman (sickle)

Dogmatix

First appearance: Asterix and the Banquet (Book 5 in france) Page 13
Dogmatix is Obelix's pet dog. Unlike his immense master, Dogmatix is very tiny, but can have a nasty temper. Dogmatix loves nature and hates to see trees suffer (Obelix once mentions this is because Dogmatix likes to pee on them). Dogmatix met Asterix and Obelix in Lutetia and followed them all the way around Gaul until Obelix finally noticed him. Since then, Obelix has become very affectionate toward Dogmatix. In Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield, Obelix gets mad at hungry people who try to take Dogmatix's bone and insists they will be punished if they try to take advantage of his dog. Dogmatix is relatively intelligent but is useless when it comes to sniffing out a trail. When given a trail to follow, he will follow the scent to menhirs, no matter where the trail actually led. In Asterix and the Black Gold, the trio are wandering in the desert when Dogmatix starts to dig. Asterix and Obelix hope he has found water but Dogmatix actually discovers oil. While this does not solve the trio's problem of thirst, it does complete their original mission to find oil.
  • French: Idéfix ("idée fixe", a fixed idea or theme, also a prejudice) - most translations use some variant of this original name (e.g. Idefiks in Esperanto).
In English, Dogmatix comes from dogmatic - clinging to an unchanging set of beliefs. The pun is extended because the name also contains the word "dog".
Hindi - In the मधु मुस्कान (Madhu Muskan) translations, Dogmatix has been called Kutta Bhaunkix (the dog who barks)
In Bengali - he is known as "gNoyartumix" - keeping in mind the bengali term "gNyoyartumi" , which means "being dogmatic" .
In Hebrew, מבריקס (Mavrix) means bright.
In Serbian, it's Идефикс (Idefiks - directly taken from the French Idéfix) or Гаровикс (Garoviks/Garovix, from garov, a common name for a dog of indeterminable breed)

Major recurring characters

At the beginning of most of the Asterix books, right after the map of Gaul, before the narrative starts, there is a standard description of the main characters above, as well as Getafix, Cacofonix, and Vitalstatistix (regardless of their importance in that particular book).
First appearance of all major characters is Asterix the Gaul unless otherwise noted. Notes are given for languages which have translations of 90% or more of the albums — primarily European along with Brazilian (Indonesian also falls in this category, but it leaves the French names unchanged). Languages which do not use the "x" (such as those of Eastern Europe like Polish, Baltic languages, Turkish or Esperanto) substitute "ks" in translations; "C" is also not used in some (such as Polish, Greek and Basque) which substitute "K" or "Z" for hard or soft "C" respectively in names that are otherwise untranslated.

Cacofonix

Cacofonix is the village bard. He is usually only a supporting character, but has had a major part in the plot of some albums (see Asterix and the Normans, Asterix the Gladiator, Asterix and the Magic Carpet and Asterix and the Secret Weapon). He loves singing and playing his lyre, and jumps at every opportunity to do so. While he can call traditional dances, and conducts a village band, his singing is unbearably bad. In recent albums his music is so spectacularly horrible that it actually starts thunderstorms (even indoors), because of an old French saying that bad singing causes rain.
For his part, Cacofonix considers himself a genius and a superb singer, and he is angrily offended when people criticize his singing, to the point of dismissing them as barbarians.
Some villagers go to extreme lengths to avoid hearing Cacofonix's music. Most notably, Fulliautomatix the village smith bangs him on the head at the merest hint of breaking into a song, and has destroyed his lyre on a number of occasions, at one point being called the "ancestor of music critics". As a running gag, Cacofonix is generally tied up and gagged during the banquet at the end of most albums to allow the other villagers to have a good time without having to keep him from singing. He is nonetheless well liked when not singing.
In contrast to the villagers, some of the younger outsiders whom Cacofonix has met do appreciate his "talent": Justforkix (from Asterix and the Normans) actually encouraged Cacofonix to seriously thinking of moving to Lutetia where he claimed the bard's way with music would be enjoyed; Pepe (from Asterix in Spain) liked it because it reminded him of home (the goats bleating in his village); and Princess Orinjade (of Asterix and the Magic Carpet) expressed similar keenness, though it was perhaps in gratitude of the fact that his music had saved her from sacrifice.
Unlike the other villagers, whose huts are on the ground, Cacofonix's hut is perched up in a tree. Ostensibly this is so he can act as a lookout to warn the other villagers of imminent invasion, but primarily to let him practice his music as far from everyone as possible (it's a tall tree). It has been felled several times but has been replanted, or restored by Getafix' magic acorns (from The Mansions of the Gods).
He and Getafix are the village's teachers as only bards and druids are allowed to teach in school. He is rarely seen fighting the Romans except when his personal honour is impugned — his voice apparently does not mix well with the magic potion, although in Asterix and the Magic Carpet it actually restores him to full voice.
In English, Cacofonix is derived from cacophonic (describing "harsh and unpleasant sounds").In the American version of theseries,he was called Malacoustix,which refers to "bad acoustics".
In Greek he is Κακοφωνίξ (Cacofonix) and in new Dutch translations Kakofonix, Kakofoniks in Polish and Turkish.
In Serbian, his name is Тамбурикс (Tamburiks, Tambourix). The name comes from tambura. He doesn't actually play a tambura, but the instrument is very popular in Serbia. Tamburati (to play tambura), interestingly enough, is a Serbian slang meaning "to beat someone up". At the end of many albums, Tamburiks often gets beaten up, gagged and tied to a tree.
In German and Swedish, he is Troubadix; In Danish, Norwegian and Finnish Trubadurix (a pun on "Troubadour" / "trubadur", a word for bard).
In the Brazilian translation he is Chatotorix (meaning "annoying" or "the very dull one").
In Hindi translation he is गवैयाँ बेसुरीक्स (Gavaiyañ Besurix) (meaning "one who sings out of tune")
In Bengali this bard is known as ("kawlorobix") - the root being ("kawlorob") - meaning "making a lot of noise for no purpose"
In Hungarian translation he is "Hangjanix", which means "He absolutely has no voice".
Similarily, the Esperanto name Malmuziks means "the contrary of music".
In Hebrew, חמשיריקס (Khamshirix) which can be literally translated back as 'Limerix' (from Limerick).
In Icelandic he is Óðríkur, meaning "Rich in Odes". A musicmaking competition in one of Iceland's most prestigious pre-colleges is named in his honour
In Welsh, he is Odlgymix, from odl gymysg (mixed rhyme, a metre of Welsh verse)

Vitalstatistix

Chief Vitalstatistix is the leader of the Gaulish village. He is a middle-aged, obese man with red hair, pigtails and a huge moustache. He is generally reasonable, well-informed, fearless, (comparatively) even-tempered and unambitious -- the last much to the chagrin of his wife Impedimenta. His major failings are his love of good food and drink (it is unlikely to be a coincidence that his wife is the best cook in the village) -- which have led to health problems -- and his pride. As a Gaulish chief he prefers to travel on a shield, carried by two shield bearers (they say pride goeth before a fall... and he finds creative new ways to fall off the shield in almost every book). The names of the shield bearers are never mentioned.
Vitalstatistix fought at the battle of Alesia where Caesar (almost) completed his conquest of Gaul, before becoming chief of the village. In Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield it was revealed that the shield he is carried on originally belonged to the legendary Gaulish warrior chief Vercingetorix. His father was the village chief before him. He has a brother, Doublehelix, in Lutetia who has a young daughter and a son, Justforkix.
The introduction to each story states that Vitalstatistix has only one fear "that the sky may fall on his head tomorrow"; however, he rarely alludes to this in an actual story, and then only as a rallying cry: "We have nothing to fear but …".
  • French: Abraracourcix ("à bras raccourcis" — "with arms up ready to fight") - this is the same in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and (original) Dutch (although the "o" is usually dropped)
In English, his name is a pun on Vital statistics - the government birth and death records of a region and also an expression for a person's measurements (a comment on his size). In the American translation, he was Macroeconomix from macroeconomics.
In Catalan, he is Copdegarròtix ("cop de garrot" - "club hit")
In German, Greek and Scandinavian, he is Majestix from majestic; similarly in new Dutch translations he is Heroix from heroic.
In Esperanto he is Moŝtiks ("via moŝto" - your highness)
In Finnish he is Aladobix, referring to 'aladobi', a Finnish jelly-like dish containing meat
In Hungarian, he is Hasarengazfix, which means 'His belly surely shakes'
In Polish, he is Asparanoiks, referring to 'paranoia', the fear of sky falling on his head.
In Turkish, Toptoriks
In Brazilian Portuguese, his name is usually shortened to Abracurcix.
In Hindi translation, his name is mentioned as मुखिया मोटुमालिक्स (Mukhiya Motumallix), which literally means, 'The Fat Chief'
In Bengali , the chief has a name phonetically similar to some extent to his English one . It's "Bishalakritix" - taken from the root "bishalakriti" - which aptly means "of huge proportions".
In Hebrew, his name is לוחמאמיקס (lokhem-amix), meaning 'brave warrior'.
In Serbian, He is Дрматорикс (Drmatoriks/Drmatorix), from "drmator", a slang term for Communist era movers and shakers ("drmati" means "to shake")
In Welsh, he is Einharweinix, from ein harweinydd (our leader)

Chief's shieldbearers

From Asterix and Caesar's Gift onward Vitalstatistix has had the same (unnamed) bearers carry (and drop) him; prior to that he had different bearers each album. Also, in one Asterix story, he fires both his shield bearers after he tells them that it's a lovely day, and they look up, tipping the shield back (and dropping the chief). When they lean forward again, he has gone. He then goes and hires new shield bearers including Asterix, Geriatrix, Fulliautomatix and Obelix (in these cases the shield is horribly tilted so he is forced to stand on a slant, and Obelix carried him with one hand like a waiter).

Impedimenta

First Appearance: Asterix and the Big Fight (but not named until Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield)
Impedimenta is the matriarchal wife of Chief Vitalstatistix, leader of the village wives and the best cook in the village. She is often disappointed with the other villagers (calling them barbarians) and wishes Vitalstatistix was more ambitious. Consequently she zealously defends and flaunts every privilege due her as first lady of the village such as skipping the queue at the fishmongers. She frequently says she wants to go back to Lutetia and live with her successful merchant brother, Homeopathix - the one part of the family her husband is openly not fond of.
She nicknamed Vitalstatistix "Piggywiggy" when they were courting, and starts doing this again in Asterix and the Soothsayer as a plan to make Asterix and Obelix erupt in hysterical laughter when she calls him with that name in front of them, thus irritating him and making him punish them by forcing them to stay in the village, away from the soothsayer.
On occasion she has an antagonistic rivalry with Mrs. Geriatrix that has erupted into violence. One such occasion was in Asterix and the Magic Carpet where the two beat each other with fish from Unhygenix's store over the fakir Watziznehm's carpet.
  • French: Bonemine ("bonne mine", meaning "good looking") - also used in Swedish or Esperanto, and in Greek Μπονεμίνα (Bonemina)
In English, the name is derived from "impediment", an obstacle (in the American translations: Belladonna — a poisonous plant used in cosmetics whose name means beautiful lady).
In Italian, she is Beniamina
In Spanish, she is Karabella (meaning Beautiful face)
In Portuguese, she is referred as Bonemine in some stories and as Caralinda in others (Portuguese cara linda, "beautiful face").
In the Brazilian translation she is Naftalina
In Dutch, she is Bellefleur
In German, she is Gutemine; Danish and Norwegian, Godemine (Presumably after the old saying "At holde gode miner til slet spil": "To keep up appearances in the face of bad deeds".)
In Hungarian, she is Hengerlice; which means 'roller dove', a pun on her being a little fat.
In Turkish, she is Dedigimdediks
In Finnish, she is Smirgeline
In Polish, she is Dobromina (most likely a pun on the Polish saying "robić dobrą minę do złej gry", which has the same meaning as the Danish/Norwegian example above)
In Catalan, she's sometimes called Bonemina, but she's usually called Karabella.
In Hindi, she's referred as प्यारी सिरर्ददा ( Pyari Sirdarda) , the beloved, who causes Headache.

Fulliautomatix

First Appearance: Asterix the Gaul
Fulliautomatix is the village smith. He is tall and robust, and very strong - he is one of the strongest characters, perhaps second only to Obelix, and a bit of a bully. Fulliautomatix's first appearance was in the first volume, Asterix the Gaul, where the Roman spy was amazed that he used his fists to forge iron. However, he is subsequently shown using a normal hammer and is now rarely seen without one. A very different looking Fulliautomatix appeared in Asterix and the Banquet in which he and Obelix argue as to who should be entitled to punch the Roman that they are both engaged in hitting anyway. His final appearance was established in Asterix and the Normans
One character that Fulliautomatix often interacts with is Unhygienix the fishmonger with whom he has a friendly rivalry. Fulliautomatix claims the fish he sells are stale, and this often results in Unhygienix throwing a fish at his face, causing a fight (sometimes the other villagers join in just for fun). Another is Cacofonix the bard, who Fulliautomatix takes great pleasure in bullying, breaking his lyre, threatening him and hitting him on the head at the merest hint of breaking into a song (which is so bad that the other villagers do not object). It has been stated that he is perhaps the ancestor of all music critics. On the other hand, he is occasionally beaten up by Geriatrix when he is provoked by some comment the smith makes. When this happens he will often take out his frustration on the nearest convenient bystander (Cacofonix by preference) on the gounds that he does not feel he can fight back against someone so old, which only helps to further incense the old man.
His father, Semiautomatix, was the village smith before him, and he has two unnamed children that have made appearances in separate comics - a son with red hair in Asterix in Corsica, and a daughter with blond hair in Asterix and the Secret Weapon. In Asterix and the Great Divide he is shown as having an apprentice though it is not indicated whether or not they are related; some speculate that he is the young son grown to teen years.
  • French: Cétautomatix ("c'est automatique", meaning "it is automatic") — the languages of Spain follow fairly literally: Esautomátix in Castilian, Esautomàtix in Catalan and Zetautomatix in Basque; in Portuguese Ceutautomatix.
In English, the name is a pun on "fully automatic"
In German and Italian he is simply Automatix. Αυτοματίξ (Aftomatix) in Greek
In Polish, he is Automatiks, or Tenautomatiks.
In Esperanto, his name is Tutaŭtomatiks.
In Dutch, he is Hoefnix (a double pun: 'hoef' means 'hoove' and the phrase 'ik hoef niks' means 'I don't need anything')
In Brazilian Portuguese, he's just Automatix.
In Danish and Norwegian, he is Armamix
In Icelandic versions, he is Ryðríkur. Ironically, "Ryð" means "rust" in Icelandic.
In Swedish versions, Smidefix (as a pun on the words "smith" and "fix")
In Finnish, he is Caravellix
In Serbian, he is Металопластикс (Metaloplastiks/Metaloplastix) as a pun on the words "metal" and "plastics", but also on the name of the famous handball team Metaloplastika from Šabac
In Hindi translation, he is बदबोलिक्स लोहातोडिक्स (Badbolix Lohatodix) (which means "one who brags a lot and breaks (as in works) with iron)
In Hebrew, נשקאוטומאטיקס (Neshek-Otomatix) means 'automatic weapon'.

Mrs. Fulliautomatix

First Appearance: Asterix and the Roman Agent
Mrs Fulliautomatix is one of the inner circle of village wives. She takes no nonsense and dominates her much larger husband. Although she appears often she has never been named in the stories. She has been known to beat up Cacofonix on occasion as well,(Asterix and the Secret Weapon)

Geriatrix

First Appearance: Asterix the Gladiator but first named in Asterix at the Olympic Games
Geriatrix is the oldest inhabitant of Asterix's village — he is mentioned as ninety-three in Asterix at the Olympic Games (he says he feels ten years younger while drunk, to which Asterix answers "Well, that makes you eighty-three, and it's time you were in bed"), although some translations make him no more than eighty — and as such he demands respect (generally more than he is given). Nonetheless he dislikes being treated as old and will attack anyone who comments to that effect. In particular he often beats up Fulliautomatix for refusing to fight back due to his age, and actually cries to be attacked.
Geriatrix is against foreigners who aren't from his village. He is a veteran of the Battle of Gergovia and Battle of Alesia, and refers to them when excited ("It'll be just like Gergovia all over!") or distraught ("It's just like Alesia all over again!"). He has an eye for the young ladies and has a very young (appearing to be in her twenties) and beautiful wife of whom he is very possessive — particularly when Obelix is around.
  • French: Agecanonix ("Âge canonique", meaning "very old age") (also in Portuguese).
In English, the name comes from Geriatrics, the branch of medicine dealing with old age. He is also known as Arthritix in the American translations.
In Spanish, he is Edadepiedrix or Edatdepèdrix in Catalan (meaning "Stone Age").
In Finnish and Scandinavian languages, he is Senilix (from senile).
In Italian, he is Matusalemix, from Matusalem (Methuselah), the biblical 'old man', similarly in German, Methusalix, Μαθουσαλίξ (Mathusalix) in Greek, used to be Παλαιοντολογίξ'' (Palaiontologix).
He regularly has fights about his fish with his friend Fulliautomatix, the village blacksmith, which often escalate to involve most of the village. Fulliautomatix says his fish are stale, Unhygienix throws a fish at him, he throws it back, it hits someone else, etc., the whole village gets into a fight. This rivalry is a family tradition — their fathers also fought, and their children are continuing it. Despite this, his catch phrase would be a scream to his wife, "Bacteria! Get the fish inside!" or "Save the sales!", in fights on the village he doesn't want to enter (which means, a fight that isn't about his fish), such as villagers buying or stealing his fish to fight.
  • French: Ordralfabétix ("Ordre alphabétique", meaning "alphabetical order") - this is essentially the same in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Italian (Ordinalfabetix), as well as Hebrew (לפיסדראלפאבטיקס, Lefisederalphabetix)
In English, he is Unhygienix ("unclean" from "unhygienic")
In Dutch, he is Kostunrix ("costs a riks", 'riks' being slang for two-and-a-half guilders)
In German, he is Verleihnix ("Verleih' nix" — " (I) do not lend anything")
In Swedish, he is Crabbofix (close to "crab & fish")
In Danish, he is Hørmetix ("Hørme" means "stinks")
In Norwegian, he is Hermetix ("Hermetikk" refers to the food contianed in hermetic tin cans)
In Polish, he is Szykalfabetiks (alphabetical order) or Ahigieniks (unhygienic)
In Hungarian, he is Messesaglix ("stinks far")
In Serbian, he is Аеробикс (Aerobiks/Aerobix) - a pun on the word "aerobics"
In Esperanto, his name is Fiŝaĉiks ["fishaxhix"] ("fiŝaĉo" - rotten fish)
In Finnish, he is Amaryllix; in Greek, Αλφαβητίξ (Alfavitix) meaning alphabet - used to be Καταλφαβητίξ meaning in alphabetical order

Bacteria

First Appearance: Asterix in Spain
Bacteria is the wife of Unhygienix. She is one of the inner circle of village wives. She is quiet and easy-going, but doesn't hesitate to say exactly what she thinks. She helps her husband run his shop, selling fish of dubious quality and is unperturbed by the bizarre uses they are sometimes put to. They have two sons (whose names have not been mentioned) - one with blond hair in Asterix in Corsica, and the other with red hair in Asterix and the Secret Weapon.
In English, bacteria is the name for a kingdom of microorganisms, some of which are responsible for various diseases, keeping the same unsanitary character as her husband's name.
In Dutch, she is Forentientje ('voor een tientje' means 'for a ten-guilder bill', keeping the same monetary nature as the translation of her husband's name)
In Scandinavian, she is Remouladine (After the dressing, remoulade, popular in Scandinavia and often eaten along with fish) (but her name is never used in Swedish!)
In Polish she is "Jelousubmarina", which is "yellow submarine" written according to Polish pronounciationa dns with a female ending.

Julius Caesar

Main article: Julius Caesar   (historical)
Julius Caesar (Jules César) is the Roman dictator and main antagonist of the village, which is a thorn in his side. Many of the stories involve his schemes to finally conquer this last Gaulish holdout against his legions. At other times, the village has (indirectly) come to his aid, but more often it is a major embarrassment to him in the Roman senate - in at least one book, the entire senate is laughing at him. Despite this, there is always a mutual respect shown between him and Asterix, and the feeling that he's not such a bad guy (aside from trying to conquer them). He is also shown to be a man of honor, since whenever Asterix and Obelix somehow end up helping Caesar, Caesar always grants them any favor they ask, going so far as to rebuild the Gaulish village when it was destroyed by Brutus who was trying to kidnap Caesar's son, whom Asterix returned safely to his family (Asterix and Son).

The Pirates

In the course of their travels, Asterix and Obelix regularly cross paths with — and beat up — a group of pirates. Most of the time, Asterix and Obelix sink their ship, causing the pirates severe financial difficulties, but the pirates sometimes sink their own ship, usually to avoid a beating at the hand of the Gauls (as in Asterix and Cleopatra).
On one occasion after the wreckage the pirates were depicted in a scene similar of the painting Raft of the Medusa (Asterix the Legionary). In this scene the captain is also referring to an ancient gaulish artist called "Jericho".
At other times, it's Asterix and Obelix who have boarded and taken from the pirates, thus reversing their roles of hunter and prey. This has happened mainly in the quest for food in an empty ocean (Asterix in Spain). On another occasion, Asterix and Obelix take all the food on the ship, leaving the pirates with a single sausage for the Captain's birthday (Asterix and the Great Crossing). It happened again (in Asterix and the Magic Carpet) with Asterix leaving a single coin for payment; the Captain told his depressed crew that it was better than nothing and that at least they hadn't been beaten up and still had the ship, but then the Black lookout announced proudly that he had upheld their honour and scuttled the ship himself. The other pirates were not impressed.
Such is the fear that the pirates have for the Gauls that, having unknowingly taken them aboard, they fled their own ship in the middle of night while the subject of their fear were sound asleep (Asterix in Corsica).
Asterix also forced (on two occasions) the Captain to spend all his hard-learned loot on the merchandise of Ekonomikrisis the Phoenician merchant (Asterix and the Black Gold).
The main pirates are:
  • Redbeard (Barbe Rouge) - captain of the pirates.
  • Pegleg (Triple Patte) - an old pirate with a wooden leg who makes classical quotations in Latin.
  • unnamed (Baba) - the African pirate in the crow's nest. He also has a cousin who is a gladiator. In the original French and some other language versions he fails to pronounce the letters 'R' and 'L', leaving blanks in his speech. Early translations also had him speaking twisted English until political correctness came in.
  • Erix - the captain's son. Seen in Asterix and the Banquet, he is mentioned in Asterix and Cleopatra as being left as a deposit on a new ship.
In addition a number of members of the pirate crew are sight gags, some of whom have appeared on more than one occasion such as the Frankenstein's monster and a Mongol warrior.
It should also be noted that in the films where the pirates are seen, Erix replaces Pegleg on the jetsam with Redbeard.

Inspiration

The main pirates are based on the French comic series, Barbe Rouge (1959 and continuing). The adventures of Barbe Rouge (Redbeard) and his son Eric were published in the comic Pilote, where Asterix' adventures were also published prior to appearing in book form.
Although, in continental Europe, Barbe Rouge is a popular character in his own right, the popularity of Asterix's pirates is one of the few times that parody figures have overshadowed their originals.

Minor recurring characters

Original (French) name is given in parentheses when different

Historical figures

  • Queen Cleopatra (Cléopâtre) - Queen of Egypt. Other characters often make remarks about her beautiful nose. She appears on the cover of Asterix and Cleopatra. She is also in Asterix and Son and Asterix and Obelix All at Sea.
  • Brutus - Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar's adopted son. Constantly plays with a knife, a reference to him being one of Caesar's assassins in real life. Caesar often uses the Shakespearean quote: "Et tu, Brute?" to him for various purposes.
  • Pompey - Caesar's greatest enemy and a former consul of Rome. He is mentioned in Asterix the Gladiator and Asterix and the Roman Agent and appears in person in Asterix and the Actress, where he is the book's antagonist.

Villagers

Gauls

Others

  • Anticlimax (Jolitorax) - Asterix's first cousin, once removed. He lives in a British village holding out against the Romans in Asterix in Britain (he appears on the cover). He also appears in Asterix in Corsica and has a nephew who is an escaped galley slave in Asterix and Obelix All at Sea
  • Pepe (Pépé) - young spoilt son of the chief of an Iberian village holding out against the Romans; he appears on the cover of Asterix in Spain'' in which he is taken hostage, but rescued and returned by Asterix & Obelix. He makes life difficult for the Gauls as well as for the Romans, though even Obelix is upset when they finally part. He is one of the few people who likes Cacofonix' music, and also has a soft spot for Dogmatix. He visits the village again in Asterix in Corsica
  • Ekonomikrisis (Epidemaïs) - a Phoenecian merchant who appears in Asterix the Gladiator and also Asterix and the Black Gold
  • Gracchus Armisurplus (Gracchus Nenjetepus) - Centurion of Compendium (Petibonum) for Asterix the Gladiator and Asterix and the Banquet; however his name is translated differently in each album

External links

impedimenta in German: Figuren aus Asterix
impedimenta in Modern Greek (1453-): Αστερίξ (κύριοι χαρακτήρες)
impedimenta in French: Liste des personnages d'Astérix le Gaulois
impedimenta in Dutch: Personen in Asterix
impedimenta in Swedish: Asterix

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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