Aufer me ad arenam

When I’m not reading the blogs, I’m reading the newsletter of the Classical Association, CA News. This is old news, but it’s only just reached me, and it made me laugh, from the round-up of “Classics in the Media” in 2003:

But the biggest publisher’s advance, $500,000 no less, has gone to Victor Davis Hanson for a book on the Peloponnesian War. Hanson is a Classics teacher and raisin farmer… [blah blah blah] He followed this up [= Who Killed Homer?] with a devastating review of a Judith Hallett anthology, which led her to protest that he had not disclosed to the editors the fact that, some years previously, she had reported him and a colleague to the FBI as fitting the description of the wanted “Unabomber”…

The colleague, perhaps unsurprisingly, was John Heath, co-author of the egregious nonsense that was WKH?, a book that was memorably and also devastatingly reviewed by Peter Green in the New York Review of Books [though sadly, it’s not online: it should be, as a public service to the world].Judith Hallett’s more recent contribution to classical studies has been to translate the American classic, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, into Latin. Sing along with me, please:

Aufer me ad arenam.
Aufer me cum turba.
Da mihi glires sparsos melle.
Reditum domum non curo velle.
Pro leonibus exhortemur.
Nil refert hominum.
Duo, tria membra edent

[And for an almost-literal and spendidly-singable translation back into English: Take me to the arena / Take me out with the crowd / Buy me some dormice in honeycomb / I don’t care if I never go home / So let’s root, root, root for the lions / Not the humans they maim / Munching two, three more body parts / at our Caesar’s game!]

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