n about the year 9 BC, a group of Greco-Romans in Asia Minor issued a proclamation—now known from the Priene Calendar Inscription—commemorating the birth of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. The text of the inscription declared the coming of the “savior” Caesar as a matter of “good tidings” and “good news.” This “god Augustus” brought peace for all the people of the empire.
Those familiar with the Christian scriptures will of course note the similarities here with a later proclamation of “good tidings” and “good news” found in the gospel of Luke. Luke writes of the birth of the new “savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This savior is also the “Son of God,” who will bring “peace to men.”
It was likely no coincidence that similar language was used in both cases. The Greek term “evangelion”—translated as “gospel” or “good news”—is indeed used in the Priene Calendar proclamation which also indirectly refers to Caesar’s exalted title of “Divi filius”—the son of the god.