Media 6 December 2016 Fight: Arron Banks versus Mary Beard on the fall of Rome On the one hand: one of Britain's most respected classicists. On the other: Nigel Farage's sugar daddy. Photo: Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Tom Lehrer once said that he would quit satire after Henry Kissinger – him of napalm strikes and the Nixon administration – received the Nobel Peace Prize. Your mole is likewise minded to hand in hat, glasses and pen after the latest clash of the titans. In the blue corner: Arron Banks, insurance millionaire and Nigel Farage’s sugar daddy. In the red corner: Mary Beard, Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge, documentarian, author, historian of the ancient world. It all started when Banks suggested that the fall of the Roman Empire was down to…you guessed it, immigration: True the Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by immigration. https://t.co/V7H6zF2K5a — Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) December 4, 2016 To which Beard responded: @Arron_banks i think you all need to do a bit more reading in Roman history before telling uswhat caused the fall of Rome. Facts guys! — mary beard (@wmarybeard) December 4, 2016 Now, some might back down at this point. But not Banks, the only bank that never suffers from a loss of confidence. I studied roman history extensively - you don't have a monopoly on history ! https://t.co/7hZH8fZZWE — Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) December 5, 2016 Did Banks have another life as a classical scholar, perhaps? Twitter users were intrigued as to where he learnt so much about the ancient world. To which Banks revealed all: I did enjoy I Claudius on tv but the book was better https://t.co/L0MZJoWq8E — Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) December 5, 2016 I, Claudius is a novel. It was written in 1934, and concerns events approximately three centuries from the fall of Rome. But that wasn't the end of Banks' expertise: I love gladiator always watch it with my son https://t.co/iPmEw3TzHL — Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) December 5, 2016 Gladiator is a 2000 film. It is set 200 years before the fall of Rome. Your mole rests. › Calm down, everyone – of course Nigel Farage is in the running for TIME Person of the Year I'm a mole, innit. Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!