The Asterix Project

Gracchus Armisurplus is the Centurion in charge of the Compendium camp, being regularly the victim of his superiors, who give him orders of which he and his men invariably suffer the cruel consequences. In spite of this he still shows himself as a loyal roman with great honor. He suceeded Chrismus Bonus.


When Odius Asparagus, the Prefect of Gaul in Asterix the Gladiator, forces him to kidnap an Indomitable Gaul (Cacofonix as it turns out), the furious Gauls vent their anger on the unfortunate legionnaires of his camp. Meanwhile, the real mastermind behind the kidnapping, safe from harm, struts about with the noisy trophy that he intends to offer to Julius Caesar, who is less than delighted with his gift. The centurion Armisurplus would survive this attack uninjured, even after a very brief face to face with Asterix, showing great courage, even knowing the Gauls were invincible. And once again, in Asterix and the Banquet, the Gauls take their anger out on Armisurplus when Inspector General Overanxious forces him to bring the Gaulish village into line and subject them to Roman law once and for all (which in practice translates into a great time for the Gauls, with typical Gaulish clouts and thumps!).

Poor old Armisurplus, once valiant, courageous and willing, as he says, to fight to death, calls out to his mother for help as our heroes approach, maybe remembering his last battle against the Gauls. The centurion would survive this battle with minor injuries in his eye and right leg. Nevertheless, he would recover quickly, getting to see how Asterix and Obelix escaped the fence that Overanxious ordered the romans to build. Armisurplus pointed out that everyone would laugh at the romans if they lost the bet against the Gauls. Even having proven himself afraid of the Gauls at the beginning of the comic he would show great courage going with the general Anxious to visit the Gauls to certify his lost bet, getting the latter a final award, the speciality of the Gauls. The centurion Armisurplus would stay until the end with the general Overanxious, helping him to predictably get up after such a punch.

He would never appear again in the following comics. It is possible that he retired from the army or that he was transfered to another part of the roman empire.


Centurion Gracchus Armisurplus

The Centurion Gracchus Armisurplus upon his arrival to the Gaulish village

The personality of Centurion Gracchus Armisurplus changes from "Asterix the Gladiator" to "Asterix and the Banquet". In the first one the centurion seems to be more of a stiff centurion; we can see this seriousness on his troops, which seem to respond in a very professional way when the time of the formation comes. We get to see the courage of the centurion too, willing to fight to death with Asterix if necessary, not being this the case because of the latter´s invencibility. The defeat of his troops and himself in the battle apparently affected his pride, ordering his troops to clean the mess that the camp had turned into after the battle, with visible anger.

In "Asterix and the Banquet" his personality changes. It has visibly softened, and his bravery seems to be lost, probably due to his defeat in the previous battle. It is possible to see the fear he feels when general Ansioux talks about the Gauls, even more when he learns that the intentions of the latter is to attack them. The control on his troops seems to have softened too, since the romans in the camp before the arrival of the general live peacefully, with the camp having a really calmed atmosphere. His pride is still there, being this obvious when he points out that the defeat in the bet against the Gauls would make the romans look ridiculous. His fear towards the Gauls proved to be temporary, since he accompanied the general Ansioux to the village of the Gauls, looking very serene and honourable.

In general we can say that Gracchus Armisurplus is a very serious, honourable, professional and loyal centurion towards his troops and superiors, even following the most crazy orders, all of which can be seen through the comics. He is one of the most formal centurions too, which can be seen when he accompanied the general Anxious to visit the Gauls, walking into the village with his roman helmet on his right hand and behind the general, being this dignity and composure as remarkable as strange, since most of the roman centurions are far less honourable. The fact that he would never abandon the general after receiving the punch by Asterix denote his great loyalty and shows his bravest face.