The Mansions of the Gods

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The Mansions of the Gods
(Le Domaine des Dieux)
Date 1973
Series Asterix
Creative team
Writers Rene Goscinny
Artists Albert Uderzo
Original publication
Date of publication 1971
Language French
Chronology
Preceded by Asterix in Switzerland
Followed by Asterix and the Laurel Wreath

The Mansions of the Gods is the seventeenth volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was originally serialized in the magazine Pilote, issues 591-612, in 1971, and translated into English in 1973. It was the first not to use Asterix's name in the title (Obelix and Co. later became the only other).

Plot summary[edit]

With the intent to wipe out the Gaulish village rebelling against him, Julius Caesar plans to absorb the villagers into Roman culture by establishing a Roman patrician colony, called the 'Mansions of the Gods'. The project is led by the architect Squaronthehypotenus, who orders an army of slaves of various nationalities to pull down the trees in the Gauls' forest. With the help of Getafix's magic, Asterix and Obelix plant trees magically enhanced by one of the druid's potions to reach mature size quickly; whereupon an increasingly erratic Squaronthehypotenus threatens "to work the slaves to death". Taking this literally, Asterix gives the slaves magic potion with which to rebel; but the slaves, upon rebellion, do not stop work and leave, as Asterix intended, but insist on better working conditions, regular pay, and freedom after completing the first building of the Mansions of the Gods (similar to that of modern-day employers and trade unionists). Upon hearing that the slaves are better paid than they, the Roman legionaries go on strike for similar and better conditions for themselves (a common occurrence among French strikers). Since the freedom of the slaves depends on constructing at least one building, the Gauls allow the work to proceed. After their release, a group of the former slaves (the (almost) luckless pirates from previous adventures) "float a company" with their wages. Finally, the first building of the Mansions of the Gods is built and inhabited by Roman families: the first of these consisting of a patrician husband and wife selected by lottery. These Romans then go shopping at the village which, before long, turns into a market town selling "antique" weapons and fish to the Romans, embroiled in price wars and (in the case of some of the wives) assuming Roman dress. To counteract this, Asterix asks Squaronthehypotenus for an apartment, but is told they are full; whereafter the initial winners of the first apartment are continually harassed by Obelix acting like a rabid monster, with Asterix holding him back. The next day, the couple returns to Rome and Asterix arranges for Cacofonix the bard to move into the vacated apartment. As a result of the bard's discordant nocturnal practice, the rest of the Roman inhabitants return to Rome as well. Squaronthehypotenus tries to keep the Mansions in business by bringing the local Roman soldiers as tenants and expels Cacofonix from the building; whereupon the Gauls take this as an insult, and destroy the Roman colony. The legionnaires gratefully return to their camp and Squaronthehypotenus announces his plan to go to Egypt to build pyramids in the desert. That evening, the Gauls hold their usual celebratory banquet (in which this time Cacofonix takes part) and the ruins of the mansion are covered by Getafix's instantaneous trees.

Commentary[edit]

Following the French riots of May 1968, Goscinny made increasing reference in Asterix to current political events in France. In Mansions of the Gods he caricatures modern technocracy (the young urban planner), the gigantic "villes nouvelles" (new cities) of high-rises, and especially advertising. The quizmaster in the Circus Maximus who coerces the reluctant winner to accept his prize, is a caricature of the French television entertainer Guy Lux.

Adaptations[edit]

The Mansions of the Gods was adapted as the computer-animated feature film Asterix: The Land of the Gods. Produced in France by M6 Studio and Mikros Images, it was the first Asterix film animated in 3D,[1] and was released in France on November 26, 2014.[2]

In other languages[edit]

  • Catalan: La residència dels déus
  • Croatian: Grad bogova
  • Czech: Sídliště bohů
  • Dutch: De Romeinse lusthof
  • Finnish: Jumaltenrannan nousu ja tuho (The Rise and Fall of Gods' Shore)
  • German: Die Trabantenstadt (The satellite town)
  • Greek: Η κατοικία των θεών
  • Hebrew: אחוזת האלים
  • Indonesian: Negeri Dewa-dewa
  • Italian: Asterix e il Regno degli Dei
  • Norwegian: Byplanleggeren (The town planner)
  • Polish: Osiedle bogów
  • Portuguese: O domínio dos deuses
  • Spanish: La residencia de los dioses
  • Swedish: Gudarnas hemvist
  • Serbian Zgrade za bogove
  • Turkish: Tanrılar Sitesi
  • Welsh: Rhandir y duwiau
  • Danish: I Gudernes Land

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hopewell, John (October 21, 2010). "M6, SND prep 3D 'Asterix'". Variety. Retrieved December 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ Mister3ZE (October 16, 2013). "QUELQUES INFOS POUR " ASTÉRIX : LE DOMAINE DES DIEUX " DE LOUIS CLICHY ET ALEXANDRE ASTIER.". Focus on Animation. Retrieved October 16, 2013.