Augustus was larded with these messianic accolades and it makes me think how the Bible often represents a crystallization of what must have amounted to popular 'gossip' or what we might today call urban myths.
There had been a long standing conventional view found in all peoples of the classical world including marginal people like the Jews; that a ruler blessed by the gods would rule in glory and bring peace. It was everyone's dream. The Roman Emperor Augustus whilst not entirely benign did achieve something along these lines for the people under his rule between 27 BCE and CE 14.
Augustus was actually a modest man who also had a good sense of humour, a characteristic which was and is distinctly lacking in all earnest saviours! For example he was fond of the homely phrase, "quicker than you can cook asparagus". (As mentioned in the book I have just bought: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarle.)
Considering the enormous disparity in power between the patricians and the plebs, any information coming from the rulers would have been god-like to the illiterate. This notion of Augustus with the glorifying of his birth, his divinity and his rule would become a template for all "god given" leaders. This idea served the interests of Mithraism and later in the fourth century in the deliberate fusion of catholic pagan belief, it was applied to Jesus with the establishment of Imperial Christianity under Constantine.
Doug, have you read A Short History of Christianity by JM Robertson? For me it was revelatory. JM Robertson was a journalist, writer and Liberal Member of Parliament who had become a freethinker at an early age after hearing a lecture by Charles Bradlaugh. Later he worked for Bradlaugh who was also an MP and pioneer humanist. No doubt it was this association which enabled his access to the firebrand literature which is source material in his "Short history". I cannot recommend Roberson's approach to the subject more highly, it has the historian's sensibility of what actually happened and when and also the sociologist's instinct for what people actually believed and why they did what they did.
Everyone who wants to know the truth about the origins of Christianity should read it as a primer.
...And I agree, the early Church Fathers do not represent fact, instead they push the partisan Roman Catholic orthodoxy.