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In the original French, Edifis says to Getafix on page 7: However, the book itself is largely an extended parody of the then-recent film Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

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He bribes the stone-delivery man to throw his quarry away, tries to lock the Gauls inside a pyramid, kidnaps Edifis and tries to frame the Gauls by sending a poisoned cake to Cleopatra.

In this book, many of the names of the Egyptians end in -is, including Edifis a pun on edifice and Artifis a pun on artifice. On page 23, while looking at the pyramids, Getafix says to Obelix: Just before the palace is due to be completed, Caesar intervenes by sending legions to try and arrest the Gauls.

On page 10, Obelix is baffled by the Lighthouse of Alexandria which guides ships to the harbor.

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Infuriated, Cleopatra makes a wager with Caesar promising to build a new palace in Alexandria within three months. A furious Cleopatra then hurries to the construction site to berate Caesar.

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She promises Edifis that if he builds the palace on time he will be covered with gold; if he fails, he will be a meal for the sacred crocodiles. In other languages Ancient Greek: Cleopatra summons Edifis, who claims to be the best architect in Egypt.

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He has a lot of gold talents. This is a pun on the ancient coin known as the talent. It is also the first story in which Dogmatix takes a significant role rescuing the heroes from a maze inside a Pyramid. On page 47, Asterix offers Cleopatra further Gaulish help, and suggests that they could build a channel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

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In desperation, Asterix and Dogmatix deliver the news to Cleopatra. The Gauls fight off the Roman soldiers, but the commanding officer proceeds to shell the building with his catapults. This is a reference to the French involvement in building the Suez Canal. Obelix notices no difference, but keeps asking for more potion in subsequent volumes.

Cleopatra wins her bet and covers Edifis with gold.

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Adaptations Asterix and Cleopatra has been adapted for film twice: Wordplay A convention in the Asterix books is that Gaulish names end in -ix. When the Gauls visit Luxor, Obelix wants to take one of the obelisks with him.

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The recurring pirate characters appear in this book, though on this occasion they sink their own ship rather than endure a punch-up with the Gauls.

Edifis and Artifis reconcile and Cleopatra gives Getafix some papyrus manuscripts from the Library of Alexandria as a gift. When they flee, a small caption says they are now using the tactic of the hare, an allusion to the fable of the The Tortoise and the Hare.

The joke is that un alexandrin can mean both an Alexandrian someone from Alexandria, like Edifis or an alexandrine, a line of verse with 12 syllables, like the sentence Edifis had just spoken.