Home Introduction (fragment)

Horse, Altamira Cave
Horse, Altamira Cave, about 16,000 B.P.

The Oldest Europeans by J.F. del Giorgio

Who are we? Were do we come from? What made European women different?

Introduction (fragment)

The Old People

In the sixties a comic strip appeared in France: The adventures of Asterix the Gaul. Asterix, the cunning hero of those adventures, was a small warrior; all perilous missions were immediately trusted to him and to his inseparable friend Obelix, a menhir-delivery man. The time was 50 B.C., when Gaul was entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, actually not entirely. There was this small village of indomitable Gauls, Asterix and his friends, still holding out the invaders. And life was not exactly easy for the legionaries unlucky enough to be garrisoning the Roman camps in the Gauls' neighborhood.

The comic strip was an immediate success in France. It has been translated into many languages and became a bestseller in many countries. It is still a bestseller. With an inspired text by the late Goscinny and superb drawings by Uderzo, it has touched a special cord everywhere.

What made it so successful?

One of the many reasons may be the timing of its story. These are times when nations are almost disappearing, absorbed by giant superstructures or minimized by superpowers. Common citizens in all lands are feeling themselves powerless in front of immense, almost inhuman corporations and institutions. A time when people everywhere feel mega forces far beyond their control menace their life-styles. So, the message of these wild, warring Gauls, resisting successfully the most technologically advanced superpower of their times, and managing to maintain their obsolete and crazy customs, found a response in the heart of readers all around the world.

In the celebrated strip the Romans, unable to defeat the rebellious Gauls, content themselves with surrounding their village with camps, whose legionaries are always scared at the prospect of a courtesy visit by Asterix and his band.

Actually, these wild Gauls are almost all the time savagely quarreling among themselves, a continuous fight that is interrupted only by any happy chance of beating up the poor Roman invaders.

In the strip they are not always fighting the Romans. Sometimes they are their allies; sometimes they join them as mercenaries. Living by the sea, they are fond of traveling, often going as far as America.

The best gag in the strip is the ambition of Roman generals to be able to tell Julius Caesar "All of Gaul has been vanquished." Whenever this happens, the skeptic Caesar invariably asks: "All?" Then the proud general, or his messenger, will vainly state "All." The "All" always meaning that at least these troublemaking villagers have been taught to behave. Of course, soon Asterix and his gang also invariably prove them wrong.

Where is this indomitable village located? Apart from the fact that it is by the sea, nothing else is said about the place. The reader is left to choose, according to his imagination, the most suitable region...

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