Yet again, more latin phrases......

I saw this translation on the net but my friend says the word hero does not appear anywhere in it. What happened?
Is it implied somewhere?

English translation:
“I am not really keen, Caesar, to wish to pander to you,
Nor to know whether you are a hero or a villain.”
“Nil nimium studeo, Caesar, tibi velle placere,
nec scire utrum sis albus an ater homo”
Catullus poem

Using a not too good Latin - English dictionary, ater can mean gloomy or malicious. albus means white, and metaphorically, good. And homo is human being or person.

Transliterated, the last phrase is white or malicious person. (That’s where ‘hero’ and ‘villian’ come in.)

I’d recast it as:

I couldn’t care less, Ceaser, to want to please you;
nor to know whether you’re a good guy or bad.

So is this where we get the idea of the good guys wearing white hats?

Sounds racist to me.

Ray (Old, undead white guy)

You’re surely kidding, but just the same I feel I should mention that in ancient times the normative sense of white' was by no means interchangable with some racial notion either directly or by analogy. Catullus would not have meant here a white-skinned person’ as opposed to a black-skinned person.' He meant good’ versus `bad’ with no racial implications.

Why, some of Catullus’ best friends were Carthaganians, Luxorans, and Hippolites…

…as well as sodomites, hypocrites and pedophiles. I mean, if he didn’t hold all that against people, obviously a little thing like race…

‘…as well as sodomites, hypocrites and pedophiles…’

Is there actually historical proof of this Johnny? After all, Catullus left very little bio information other than his poems…

His poetry itself gives you an idea of the company he kept. He didn’t just write love poems, you know.