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Propertius 3.1.27

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image of Mnemosyne

The paradosis of Propertius 3.1.27: Idaeum Simoenta Iouis (cunabula parui) is either lacunose (N) or nonsensical (all other manuscripts). Gustav Wolff 's celebrated. . . cum prole Scamandro runs against objections in terms of paleographical verisimilitude, intertextual relevance, and conformity with elegiac diction. This paper provides arguments in favor of. . . ruisse in pabula parta, which echoes two Homeric passages (Il. 5.773-7, 12.19-22) while pointing, intertextually, to Lucretius and the archaic forms of epic poetry. Paleographically, ruisse in pabula parta can easily have yielded Iouis cunabula parua. Moreover, Petrarch's use of cunabula parua in 1342 suggests that his (lost) copy of Propertius, and the (now incomplete) manuscript A from which it was made in 1333, bore parua. If parui is a later correction, the standard theory, according to which the manuscript tradition of Propertius divides into the N and A families, is vindicated against the alternative theory recently put forward by James L. Butrica and Stephen J. Heyworth.

Affiliations: 1: Université libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Linguistique Textuelle et de Pragmatique Cognitive, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 50, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium;, Email:


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