The Asterix Project

Asterix the Gladiator (French: Asterix gladiateur) is the fourth volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was first serialized in Pilote issues 126-168 in 1962.


Prefect Odius Asparagus wants one of the indomitable Gauls as a present for Julius Caesar, so his men capture


Cacofonix the bard. The other gauls learn thanks to the surprisingly brave centurion Gracchus Armisurplus that the bard is on his way to Rome. But Asterix and Obelix are hot on his heels, taking ship with Ekonomikrisis the Phoenician merchant. Highly unimpressed by his present, Julius Caesar decides to throw the bard to the lions. Asterix and Obelix enlist as gladiators in order to rescue him, and, in the course of their training, teach their colleagues some interesting tricks. The next Games in Circus Maximus turn out to be the most unusual yet...



  • 046
    This book is noteworthy in the Asterix series as the first in which Obelix says his famous catchphrase "These Romans Are Crazy"!
  • An audiobook of Asterix the Gladiator adapted by Anthea_Bell and narrated by Willie Rushton was released on EMI Records Listen for Pleasure label in 1988.
  • Geriatrix (unnamed) - Obelix asks him to run his menhir delivery service while he is away. His strong personality wasn't shown at this time, neither the fact he is married.
  • Ekonomikrisis - Provides transport to and from Rome
  • Brutus - Featuring an amusingly ironic exchange with Julius Caesar at the circus.
  • The Pirates - parodying French comic "Barbe-Rouge" which was also serialized in Pilote at the time.
  • Obelix' helmet game - for the first time he collects helmets from the Romans he bashes, trying to outdo Asterix (who never has much interest in it).
  • Phoenician Ship - The ship's home port is depicted on its side as Tyre, as is mentioned by Ekonomikrisis. The sign is incorrect on two accounts. The first, the letters are written left to right when in fact Phoenician is written right to left. The second is that the letters spell 𐤕𐤉𐤓 (Tyre) as is transliterated into Greek and Latin and not 𐤑𐤓 (Ṣur)
  • This is also one of the rare times a banquet is held at day. The other being in Asterix and Cleopatra.

In other languages[]

  • French-Astérix gladiateur
  • Bulgarian-Астерикс Гладиатор
  • Italian- Asterix Gladiatore
  • Dutch-Asterix als Gladiator, formerly Asterix en de gladiatoren