Oh my, how academic research has fallen:
The German scientists calculated that the “plucky little Gaul” and his sidekick Obelix were responsible for causing more than half of the wounds, “under the influence of a doping agent called ‘the magic potion’”, with Roman soldiers their most common victims.
They found that many of those who were knocked out in the 34 books, more commonly enjoyed by schoolboys than neurosurgeons, were often left with an outstretched tongue or amnesia but none appeared to die.
The researchers, led by Marcel Kamp of the Neurosurgical department at Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, conclude: “The favourable outcome is astonishing, since outcome of traumatic brain injury in the ancient world is believed to have been worse than today and also since no diagnostic or therapeutic procedures were performed.”
Their paper, published in the official journal of the European Association of Neurosurgical Socities, known as Acta Neurochirurgica, sets out with no apparent irony their aim to “analyse the epidemiology and specific risk factors of traumatic brain injury in the Asterix illustrated comic books”.
They explain how in the books, published first in France in the 1960s and 1970s, the inhabitants of a small village in Gaul resist the Roman invasion with the help of a magic potion brewed by a druid.
The main characters “thump” Romans, pirates and Goths but a “detailed analysis had not been performed hitherto” of the injuries they suffered.
By “screening” all 34 books, the authors found 704 cases of head or brain injury, all but six suffered by men…
Perhaps these scholars should have their heads examined. I mean, what a waste of time… Astreix is but a work of fiction!