Asterix and the Great Divide

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Asterix and the Great Divide
(Le Grand Fossé)
Date 1981
Series Asterix
Creative team
Writer Albert Uderzo
Artist Albert Uderzo
Original publication
Date of publication 1980
Language French
Preceded by Asterix in Belgium
Followed by Asterix and the Black Gold

Asterix and the Great Divide (French: Le Grand Fossé, "The Great Ditch") is the twenty-fifth volume of the Asterix comic book series. It was first published in 1980.

Plot summary[edit]

In a village similar to Asterix's, two rival chiefs, Cleverdix and Majestix, have been elected and a ditch dug through the village, dividing it into the party of the left (led by Cleverdix) and the party of the right (ruled by Majestix), which contest the leadership of the entire village. Histrionix, the son of Cleverdix, and Melodrama, the daughter of Majestix, are the only villagers who do not agree with the fight. After a failed attempt by both chieftains to persuade the other side, Majestix's advisor Codfix offers to invite the local Roman garrison in exchange for Melodrama's hand in marriage (while planning secretly to overthrow Majestix and become chief himself).

Melodrama reveals this plan to Histrionix, who alerts his father; whereupon Cleverdix directs him to Vitalstatistix, who sends Asterix and Obelix, accompanied by Getafix. Codfix persuades the Roman centurion by the offer of Cleverdix's followers in slavery to the soldiers; but Majestix refuses to concede any villager, left or right, as slaves. Enraged, the centurion imprisons Majestix and his followers. Exploiting the local Romans' ignorance of their identities, Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix infiltrate the Romans' camp, to set the prisoners free. A quarrel with the Roman sentinel leads to the demonstration of another of Getafix's potions, which restores the subject to full health while erasing his memory of the injury necessitating it.

Inside the camp, Getafix makes his usual magic potion in the guise of soup. When the suspicious centurion orders them to test it for poison, they give it to the prisoners, enabling them to free themselves and defeat the Romans. At the village, Getafix makes more potion, and places it at a house spanning the ditch, with Asterix on watch. With Getafix having left his curative 'elixir' near the Roman camp, Codfix uses it to cure the Romans and exploits their amnesia to claim that the Gauls attacked the Romans unprovoked. That night, he returns to his village and seizes the potion, which (after having drunk it himself) he conveys to the Romans.

In the next day's battle, the mixture of the two drinks causes the Romans to inflate like balloons, and then shrink to a size smaller than blades of grass. Terrified by this transformation, they return to their camp and promise to leave the local Gauls in peace. At the village, Majestix learns that Codfix has kidnapped Melodrama for a ransom of 100 pounds of gold; whereupon Histrionix goes after him, accompanied by Asterix and Obelix.

Codfix, escaping via river with Melodrama, is captured by the series' recurrent pirates, to whom Codfix offers a quarter share in the ransom. They are then attacked by the Gauls. Having taken some magic potion to counter Codfix's current strength, Histrionix duels Codfix until Codfix's dose of potion ceases effect, and thereupon strikes him into the Roman camp. At the village, the chieftains agree to single combat for control of the whole village; but fight to a draw overnight, whereupon Asterix, as referee, declares Histrionix chief instead. The villagers then divert the nearby river, filling the ditch. Codfix is shown briefly as the Romans' sole drudge. Histrionix and Melodrama are married, and Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix return home.

In other languages[edit]

Apart from common translations, the volume was also translated into Viennese dialect (by Willi Resetarits), as "Da grosse Grobn", Swissgerman as '"Dr gross Grabe"' and into the Finnish Savo dialect as "Luaksolaesten lempi" ("Love among the valley people").

  • Catalan: La gran rasa
  • Croatian: Razdvojeno selo (Separated village)
  • Czech: Asterix a Velký příkop
  • Dutch: De broedertwist
  • Finnish: Syvä kuilu
  • Frisian: De Grutte Kleau
  • German: Der große Graben
    • Hessisch (Hessian): Hibbe un dribbe
    • Schwäbisch (Swabian): Dr große Graba
    • Schweizerdeutsch (Swissgerman): Dr gross Grabe
    • Wienerisch (Viennese): Da grosse Grobn
  • Greek: Η μεγάλη τάφρος
  • Hebrew: הכפר החצוי
  • Indonesian: "Asterix dan Desa Belah Tengah"
  • Italian: Asterix e il grande fossato
  • Latin: Fossa alta
  • Mirandese: L Galaton
  • Norwegian: Borgerkrigen (The civil war)
  • Portuguese: O grande Fosso
  • Polish: Wielki rów
  • Spanish: Asterix y la Gran Zanja
  • Serbian: Астерикс и велика подела
  • Swedish: Det stora bygrälet
  • Turkish: Büyük Hendek