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Купидоны в элегии 2.29а Проперция: охотники за головами или уличные бандиты?

In Propertius 2.29a the poet is captured by a group of Cupids identified so by a reader from indirect indications only and described in a way suggesting that they were not recognized by the narrator. It appears that Cupids’ behavior is modeled on the behavior of some real persons. The paper is dedicated to the problem of what persons are meant. It has been suggested that they are to be identified with professional street brigands (M. Rothstein) or with policemen (G. Luck), or that the boys are in fact slaves of the poet’s beloved who are disguised as Cupids (Th. Birt); dominant in the contemporary commentaries is F. Cairns’ interpretation, suggesting that fugitiuarii, ancient bounty hunters, are meant as the model for Cupids. Given the popularity of seruitium amoris imagery in Roman love elegy, it is probably inevitable that Cupids of this elegy should be somehow seen as fugitiuarii, but Cairns’ theory does not solve all the problems connected with the text. I argue that, while eventually readers and the narrator are supposed to realize that Cupids in fact acted as fugitiuarii, earlier in the poem the actions of Cupids are rather modeled on the behavior of groups of (generally noble) youths committing outrages for fun during night. I point to parallels to difficult places of Propertius’ elegy in the sources describing behavior of such groups. In the course of my survey I propose a conjecture to Apul. Met. 2.18.4 (tibi uero fortunae splendor inuidiam, contemptus etiam peregrinationis poterit adferre).