"The head of a Mayfair investment firm with an estimated £100 million fortune, quoted Catullus to a friend of his son’s, who was asking his advice about the City.
Ariane Gordji, a University College London graduate, had no idea what it meant until she searched on the internet.
“Shocked and confused” by the 59-year-old’s message, she ignored it until she found out about the claims being made against him by his former employee Jordan Wimmer.
Miss Wimmer, 29, worked for Mr Lowe for five years at Nomos Capital as a marketing executive, building her way up to a £500,000 salary before being made redundant earlier this year.
She is suing for £4 million for sex discrimination, unlawful deduction of wages, unfair constructive dismissal and disability discrimination, which Mr Lowe contests.
He has been accused of bringing high class prostitutes to work functions, making sexist comments, asking Miss Wimmer to join him at a strip club and hiring women based on their looks.
On Monday, a panel at the Central London Employment Tribunal heard how Mr Lowe, who speaks four languages fluently, had offered to help Miss Gordji, who is in her twenties, find a job. He wrote: “Ariane, if you want to be in the hedge fund business, don’t give up – I have not even started to show you to people yet.”
In February 2006, their emails back and forth were full of banter and chat as he complained to her about someone who was making his life difficult, the tribunal heard.
Knowing he read Latin and ancient Greek, Miss Gordji sent him a Biblical quote “diligite inimicos vestros”, which translated as “love your enemy”. In reply, he wrote: “Irrumabo vos, et pedicabo vos (it’s Catullus, but not very polite)”.
Julian Wilson, representing Miss Wimmer, said the most commonly available translation of the phrase was “I will face f--- you and b----- you”.
He asked Mr Lowe: “It was degrading, wasn’t it, to be in receipt of such communication, it was humiliating, wasn’t it?
“It was always going to be Googled, isn’t it? Do you expect other people to construe such a vile reference in the way you construe it?”
Mr Lowe replied: “Catullan poetry is not vile. It is burlesque. It was always light-hearted in the first century and it still is. It is a retort of Catullus. It has to be understood in the context of the first century.”
Mr Lowe insisted that the translation Mr Wilson had put before the hearing was wrong. “You have to understand I am a Latinist,” he said.
“Wikipedia probably used the computer. Ariane sent a message saying take a leaf out of St Paul’s book and forgive your enemies. My response was more robust saying 'I s--- and b----- you’ to people. It is a more pagan response than love your enemies.”
Min favorit är "You have to understand I am a Latinist".