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“This was on every billboard in the Mediterranean world… He [Augustus] is saviour of the world and he brings the peace… to Rome… and as the saying goes in Latin “peace to Rome and quiet to the provinces”.  (Allen Callahan – Brown and Harvard)

Augustus’ reign was for many people a sort of golden age.  In later generations new emperors set themselves the goal of bringing back something of that stability and confidence, and they would describe themselves on their coins and statues as the rescuers of the world’s good order – as saviours:  something that had already been common among the kings of the middle east in earlier centuries.  So if you’d asked people of Jesus’ day what the word “saviour” meant, the answer would be pretty plain.  It was someone who would bring back the golden age, who would put an end to conflict; you could almost say it was someone who would stop things happening.  Salvation was the end of history, brought about by one unique, charismatic leader.  (Rowan Williams – Professor Oxford and Cambridge)

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