A difficult piece of Greek in Eusebius

Can someone tell me what the following piece of Unicode Greek means? The problem is the plural ‘angels’, in one section:

Alternatively, perhaps, there is one angel in Matthew, **while the ones who encounter the women are different from that one**, and both the place and the time of the sighting of the angel are also different.   Similarly, too, the two angels in John, seen inside the tomb, are different from the one in Matthew, seen outside, sitting on the stone in front of the tomb.  

The Greek for this bit is:

e#teroi de\ kai\ a!ggeloi au0tou= oi9 pro\j ta\j gunai=kas

ἕτεροι δὲ καὶ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ οἱ πρὸς τὰς γυναῖκας

This is from one of the catena fragments of Eusebius of Caesarea, Quaestiones ad Marinum, discussing problems at the end of the Gospels.   A PDF of Mai’s edition is here, and this is found on p.88, where it says:


Mai renders it “alii item angeli apud eum mulieribus oblati” which would mean that Eusebius had forgotten that there was only one angel in Matthew 28.

2This is a very puzzling sentence.  The Greek is:  ἕτεροι δὲ καὶ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ οἱ πρὸς τὰς γυναῖκας, which at first sight might appear to mean “and his angels that encountered the women are also different”.  However, neither in Matthew nor in John, the only two evangelists here under discussion, do more than one angel encounter more than one woman; Eusebius’ knowledge of the bible can hardly have slipped in this, given its normal accuracy, and he is careful, below, to distinguish the angels appearing in these two gospels from humans in the other two.  The translation printed assumes that αὐτοῦ means not “his”, with ἄγγελοι, but “from that one”, with ἕτεροι (and is not the adverb “there);  but, quite apart from the problems already mentioned, this is also doubtful on linguistic grounds: ἕτερος, which can in some writers have a genitive to mean “from”, is in this text normally put with παρά; and αὐτοῦ is here uncomfortably distant from ἕτεροι in the word-order.  If the text is corrupt, the corruption seems too deep for a convincing emendation.


6 thoughts on “A difficult piece of Greek in Eusebius

  1. Indeed Eusebius says that Matthew talks about 2 angels. On lines 4 and 5 he says that [Mary] Magdalen saw 2 angels sitting outside the grave, and one did this and the other did that …

  2. I agree that, absent scribal error, the only intelligent reading of the passage is that Eusebius thought there were two angels. Perhpas he was thinking of Luke’s version.

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    It wasn’t till I got on to the next fragment that I found the answer: “aggeloi” is a scribal error for “logoi”. I should have looked further on before screaming for help!

    Sorry to have taken your time.

    David Miller (translator)

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