rating: +6+x
Item#: 5490
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5490 is to be sealed in a plexiglass container Site-76. Tests involving SCP-5490 are to be limited to one subject at a time and will only be coordinated by personnel with security clearance of Level 2 or above. SCP-5490 will only be read by a subject fitting within the parameters of its anomalous properties. Testing procedures will not be conducted without the approval of Dr. Prodri.

Description: SCP-5490 is a book wrapped in leather binding with 89 pages, all of which are blank. According to radiometric dating, SCP-5490 is approximately 1880 years old. Despite this, it shows no signs of aging or wear. When an individual interacts with the first page of SCP-5490, one of two different phrases will be presented to the subject:

Upon viewing the first phrase, the individual will begin to suffer from severe clinical depression, rating between 24 to 27 on the PHQ-9 test1 regardless of their emotional state prior to the event. The individual will also begin to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, complaining of the 'horrors of Judea.' Upon reading the second phrase, the individual will be able to view the full contents of SCP-5490.

All text within SCP-5490 is written in Latin, however the individual will still be able to read SCP-5490 regardless of their native language and/or their ability to understand Latin. Only individuals who can fully understand Latin text are able to read SCP-5490 verbally. The only method of translation is via audio recordings. However, upon playback the subject's voice will sound distorted. Video recording of any reading will result in the pages being observed as blank.

SCP-5490 details the Roman emperor Aelius Hadrianus Severlinus, who reigned as an emperor of the Roman Empire from 130 AD to 138 AD. Emperor Severlinus's history is not recorded in any other text or historical document besides SCP-5490, with his supposed command falling within the later years of emperor Hadrian's reign. The recorded anomalous activity during the Bar Kokhba Revolt, as well as other anomalous events during these years, are also within Foundation databases. Hadrian, however, is still recorded as the emperor during these events.

SCP-5490 was discovered after an Italian archaeological team from the Sapienza University of Rome explored a previously unrecorded chamber underneath Rome. SCP-5490 was found on a pedestal in a pristine condition. One of the team members opened SCP-5490, while other team members observed. SCP-5490's anomalous effect then activated, causing most of the team to suffer from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder within a few hours. One of the original team members did not experience any of SCP-5490's effects and swiftly reported his discovery to government officials. Suspecting anomalous activity may be involved, the Italian government contacted the Foundation whereupon it was swiftly secured and transferred to Site-76.

Addendum.1 - Incident 5490.4.17: On 17/4/20██, Doctor Prodri opened SCP-5490 believing that his Italian ancestry and family linkage to Dark Age Italy could allow him to access SCP-5490's contents. Doctor Prodri opened SCP-5490 and began reading until he was apprehended by on-site security. Doctor Prodri was temporarily relieved of his duties and was watched closely under house arrest. During the following days, Dr. Prodri did not show signs of any anomalous effects by SCP-5490. He was cleared of SCP-5490's effects, and he was allowed to view SCP-5490 under video observation. After opening to the first page, Dr. Prodri began to read SCP-5490 without interruption. The test was concluded after it became clear that Dr. Prodri could not verbally read SCP-5490.

Believing his DNA could be the reason as to why Dr. Prodri was able to read SCP-5490, samples were collected and the Foundation began to search for other individuals who could potentially read SCP-5490. Within a few days, nine other individual samples were found to have matched Dr. Prodri's DNA. These nine individuals were invited to a museum tour, where SCP-5490 was displayed in a closed-off section of the museum, where each individual read SCP-5490's first page one at a time. Five experienced the first variation of SCP-5490 and were given Class-A amnestics. The remaining individuals were able to read SCP-5490's contents. These four subjects had their DNA samples taken from drinking cups they used during the tour and were given amnestics.

As a result of Incident 5490.4.17, the Foundation has greatly narrowed who is able to view SCP-5490 contents based on shared genetic qualities. Because of this, an estimated 1.5 million potential readers exist in the world.

Addendum.2 - Page excerpts: The following are excerpts from various pages of SCP-5490. Only major variations between the actions of Severlinus and Hadrian are transcribed and presented. SCP-5490 itself can be divided into three different sections:

First Section: Pages 1-9
Description: Early life and eventual coronation of Severlinus

Second section: Pages 10-55
Description: First years of Severlinus's reign towards the end of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

Third section: Pages 56-88
Description: Final years of Severlinus's reign and death.

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