Asterix the Legionary
|Asterix the Legionary
Date(s) of publication
|Preceded by||Asterix and the Normans|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield|
The book begins with a now familiar scene of the indomitable Gauls' village. Asterix and Obelix are setting off for a wild boar hunt when they pass a beautiful blond young lady by the name of Panacea who has been picking mushrooms. She has returned to the village after studying in Condatum. Obelix immediately falls in love. After a few scenes of Obelix embarrassing himself, Panacea receives word that her fiancé Tragicomix has been conscripted into the Roman army and shipped to North Africa. Asterix and Obelix promise Panacea that they will return Tragicomix to her, even though it breaks Obelix's heart.
Asterix and Obelix head for Condatum where they learn that Tragicomix has already left for Massilia, the Mediterranean port from which the soldiers depart. They then decide to enlist in the Roman army and end up training with Hemispheric, a Goth; Selectivemploymentax, a Briton; Gastronomix, a Belgian; Neveratalos, a Greek; and Ptenisnet, an Egyptian tourist who spends the entire book believing himself to be in a holiday camp.
After completing training (which is rather relaxing for the conscripts while very stressful for the Centurions), the newly formed unit sets off as reinforcements to Caesar who is fighting a losing campaign against a rival Roman faction headed by Caecilius Metellus Scipio in alliance with Afranius and King Juba I of Numidia. Asterix and Obelix soon find out that Tragicomix has gone missing in action after a skirmish.
Asterix and Obelix desert and set out to search for him, raiding Scipio's camp and successfully rescuing the young man. However, due to their actions Caesar and Scipio each believes that the other is attacking and they both prepare for battle, with Scipio's forces off-balance thanks to Asterix and Obelix's initial attack while Caesar's forces have had time to prepare as they started organising themselves after the Gauls deserted in the belief that they were spies. In the confusion that follows, Caesar achieves a great victory (the historical Battle of Thapsus, 6 February 46 BC). The Gauls are cornered by Caesar after the battle is over and they have recovered their usual clothes, but are released and sent home for the service they provided in helping him win the battle.
Panacea is reunited with Tragicomix and everybody is overjoyed. In gratitude, Panacea kisses both Asterix and Obelix. Obelix faints, and Asterix spends the customary banquet sitting on a tree, hopelessly in love as well. This is first book in the series where either Asterix or Obelix have shown any interest in the opposite sex and falling is love is recurring theme throughout the book, whenever anybody starts crying someone remarks "In love, is he?"