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Son GŁncelleme
Ekim 26, 2001


In Asterix's adventures, arenas are often the theater of spectacular events. And they don't skimp on anything: there is bingo, torture, chariot races and more. Whether it be the Romans, Goths or Spanish, crowds are delighted by games and spectacular events. It's quite clear - arenas in 50 BC were today's trash TV, with commercials to boot!

In Asterix and the Goths, the entertainments manager has incredible imagination! Slightly sadist, his ideas for the festivities include spectacular torture inflicted on the prisoners. "Now, suppose we start by having them torn apart by wild horses, and then we could chop them up into little bits." Even though Metric, the Gothic chief, feels this is banal, they get the last prisoners ready. Under applause from the audience, the village translator, recently arrested after trying to escape, ends up in the center of the arena. "Bring on the wild horses," cries Metric. "Bravo! Good idea! Up with Metric," shouts the audience. The translator's feet and hands tied to four horses, he still manages to resist. Naturally; he drank some of Getafix's magic potion!

However, while this much-desired potion protects, it can also lead to downfall. Spurius Brontosaurus, a Spaniard in search of invincibility, finds this out in Asterix in Spain. After stealing the valuable gourd from Asterix, and causing a riot among the soldiers, he ends up in front of the Commander in Chief. His sentence is pronounced: he is to be thrown to the lions. The locals and tourists are delighted, and tickets sell like hotcakes. Some find this horrible, but others say, "It's just sentimental to feel sorry for him. And then there's music, atmosphere and color..." In the arena, the corrida begins. Everyone cheers the bull. Fortunately for Spurius Brontosaurus, Asterix comes to his rescue and saves him from a certain death.

Other than the human sacrifices which occur in arenas, games and sports also excite crowds. In Asterix the Gladiator, people flock to the majestic arena. Spectators can buy programs carved in stone, seat cushions and sausages. Asterix and Obelix take off on a wild chariot race in the arena! To end the festivities, Cacafonix is brought in. Destined to be eaten by lions, he scares them off, without even realizing, by breaking out in song: "For Gau-aul Lang Syne, My Dears..."

Bingo already existed in 50 BC! You couldn't win money, but you could win a fabulous home. In The Mansions of the Gods, the master of ceremonies, Showbusinus, looks exactly like the French television presenter Guy Lux, and the arena becomes a set for a tv show. Accompanied by a comely young woman, who draws the winning numbers, he explains how the game works. "We're going to pick the fortunate winner of one of the cenacula in the Mansions of the Gods." The spectators go wild, and the wife of the man with the winning number gets up, "Here he is! Over here!" Showbusinus concludes, "Give him a big hand, folks!" What a show!

A brief word from our sponsor! In Obelix and Co., we see advertisements praising the virtues of menhirs. In the arena, four Romans are singing, at the top of their voices, "It's the right one, it's not the light one, it's a menhir." And no expense is spared attracting consumers' attention. In Asterix the Gladiator, some Romans get dressed up as amphoras to pitch wine. Their slogan: "Drinka Jara Wina Day". A few images later, a Roman turns green after he "dranka jara wine before coming." Advertising seems to work the same now.

Asterix is always sober, even though he has a penchant for magic potion, and is an excellent athlete. In Asterix at the Olympic Games, he represents Gaul. "As-te-rix! As-te-rix!" his friends cry out, as he enters the arena. After a few difficulties (his competitors drank the magic potion!), he ends up at the top of the podium! There's no doubt about it, Asterix is the king of the arena!