SCP-4066
rating: +54+x

Item #: SCP-4066

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: All archaeological excavations of sites in the former Byzantine Empire are to be monitored by Research Task Force Digamma-7 ("Classical Cosmonauts") for instances of SCP-4066-A and -B. SCP-4066-A instances are to be documented and then defaced in ways consistent with decay, vandalism, or iconoclasm1 and returned; SCP-4066-B instances are to be confiscated and contained in an anomalous object storage vault at Site-77. Civilians who have come into contact with SCP-4066-A or -B instances are to be treated with Class-A amnestics.

Proposals for the study or reverse-engineering of SCP-4066-B instances should be submitted to the SCP-4066 containment lead, Dr. Kristin Maur, and require the approval of Site Director Gillespie.

Description: SCP-4066 is the collective designation for the dynasties of Byzantine emperors that were founded by, supported by, or composed of extraterrestrial or extradimensional entities. Between the ascension of Constantine I as sole Roman Emperor in 312 and the sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, almost every ruling family in the Byzantine Empire was in some way associated with extraterrestrial activity; during this period, there was very little confirmed extraterrestrial activity elsewhere on Earth. As of yet, no explanation for this trend has been found.

Art and literature from the Byzantine Empire that describes or depicts extraterrestrial entities and activities is designated SCP-4066-A; extraterrestrial technological artifacts from this period are designated SCP-4066-B.

Addendum: Emperors and Dynasties with Extraterrestrial Influences

This addendum contains short descriptions and summaries of the Byzantine dynasties with known extraterrestrial/extradimensional affiliations, alongside supplementary documents and data that serve to identify the nature and scope of those affiliations. These dynasties are designated SCP-4066-α through SCP-4066-π. For full dossiers on the individual dynasties, contact the containment lead, currently Dr. Kristin Maur.

Constantinian Dynasty - SCP-4066-α (312-363)

The emperor Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Mainstream historical sources claim that this conversion was the result of a vision Constantine experienced before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, in which he was instructed to adopt the sign of the Chi-Rho, a Christian symbol, to ensure his army's victory. Constantine's private journals, preserved in the library of the Great Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos, reveal that he received visions from the same entity throughout his reign; Constantine identifies this entity as either Sol Invictus or the Christian God, and says that the visions always came from "the morning sun himself". These visions gave Constantine advice on military, political, and economic matters, and encouraged him to support both the pagan cults of Mithras and Sol Invictus and the Christian church.

Constantine's dynastic successors continued to receive these visions and for the most part followed them, with the exception of his nephew, Julian the Apostate, who rejected the visions as the "messages of a false god" who was "preparing [the empire] for a war that is not ours". Julian believed that these visions had been misinterpreted by his predecessors, and that rather than advocating for Christianity, the visions wished him to found a new religion, which he described as "antithetical to the ancient customs of Rome and the new laws of the Christians". Julian argued against the messages he had received in a series of philosophical dialogues titled Against Himself; a section of the third dialogue is reproduced below.

Document 4066-α-17: Against Himself Chapter 3, p. 4-6
Circa 362 CE. Sixth-generation vellum copy, Venice, Italy. Greek. Translated by Gavin van Hofwegen, 1937.

The text continues for another seven pages; it ends with Julian concluding that Phantasm is some sort of minor spirit who has latched on to the imperial family, seeking worship and sacrifices. Investigation into the similarities between the philosophy articulated by the character of Phantasm and the Ortothan mythos of the Church of the Second Hytoth is ongoing.

Valentinian Dynasty - SCP-4066-β (364-379)

The Valentinian dynasty were members of a species of sapient humanoid extraterrestrials of unknown origin. SCP-4066-A instances depict Valentinian emperors and other members of their family with instectoid facial features, including compound eyes, chewing mouthparts similar to grasshoppers, and long antennae; these individuals had four arms, two on each side branching from a single shoulder joint, and two legs. Depictions of the Valentinian emperors exhibit a mild antimemetic effect, causing observers to perceive them as depictions of human beings; as a result, the anomalous nature of SCP-4066-β was not discovered until the first use of mnestic drugs by the Foundation in the 1980s.

Theodosian Dynasty - SCP-4066-γ (379-457)

Theodosius I, founder of the Theodosian dynasty, had close trading relationships with a number of extradimensional and extraterrestrial nation-states, including the Dominion of Cephus, the city-state of Alagadda, the Central L'Kir Co-Prosperity Tesseract, and New Carthage. These trade deals were brokered by two close advisors of the Emperor, Demetrios Makellos and Kourios Skotos, and resulted in an influx of extraterrestrial consumer goods, thaumaturgic and alchemical artifacts, and non-human slaves.

Leonid Dynasty - SCP-4066-δ (457-518)

The entire Leonid dynasty appears to have been fabricated at some point in the mid-8th century, replacing two Theodosian Emperors, Theodosius III and Arcadius II, and a non-dynastic emperor, Philip Chrysonomos2. Historical records and material evidence were significantly altered, although the memories of most individuals were not; nevertheless, only a few contemporary individuals seemed to notice the change, all of them monastic scholars, and none of them released that information publicly.

Examination of the Church of Saint Mary of the Spring, a sanctuary in modern Istanbul founded by the first Leonid Emperor, Leo I, revealed an inscription on the ancient cornerstone concealed by a series of antimemetic sigils; the inscription, originally written in both Latin and Lisk'Kvar3 has been reproduced below.

Document SCP-4066-δ-17: Cornerstone Inscription, Church of Saint Mary of the Spring
Date unclear. Inscription on marble, Istanbul, Turkey. Latin/Lisk'Kvar. Translated by Anne Benoit and Ezekiel N'krumah, 2012.

The inscription is signed by the same "Cartwheel" mentioned in the text. The Foundation has as of yet been unable to ask any Lisk'Lirthan individuals about the Leonid dynasty, the inscription, or the individual mentioned within.

Justinian Dynasty - SCP-4066-ε (518-602)

Documents recovered from excavations within Nx-34 have revealed that all important members of the Justinian dynasty, including all Justinian emperors, were controlled by the psionic extraterrestrial species known to the inhabitants of Nx-34 as the "Soul-Thieves". A colony of Soul-Thieves was established in an artificial cavern in the harbor of Constantinople; when a member of the dynasty that was under the control of these entities left the city, they would be followed by a Soul-Thief either in the sea or in a levitating tank cloaked in a light-refraction field. The eventual deposition of Emperor Maurice by Phocas (see below) was possibly aided by some natural psionic resistance granted by Phocas' divergence from baseline humanity.

Phocas - SCP-4066-ζ (602-610)

SCP-4066-A instances depicting the usurper Emperor Phocas show the sloping forehead, pronounced brow ridge, and protruding jaw typical of Homo neanderthalensis; contemporary sources claim that he and his family spoke a dialect of Greek not like any spoken in the empire, and that he made occasional veiled references to a birthplace to which he could never return. Extraterrestrial/extradimensional origin unconfirmed, but likely.

Heraclian Dynasty - SCP-4066-η (610-695)

While no documentary evidence has been found linking the Heraclian Dynasty to extraterrestrial activity, archaeological excavations of sites from this period contain numerous instances of SCP-4066-B, mostly military armaments. A representative list is presented below.

Table 4066-η-1: Significant SCP-4066-η-B Instances

Site Date (approximate) Object(s)
Ephesus (Selçuk, Turkey) 614 Two artillery railguns, probably originally rendered inoperable by earthquake damage. Instances were found in what was once the bay outside the ancient harbor (now several kilometers inland due to silt deposition by the Küçükmenderes River). Instances appear to have been connected to some external power supply, which has not been recovered.
Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq) 627 Remains of four powered-armor exoskeletons, heavily battle-damaged and with the internal power sources removed. Instances are engraved with passages from Christian scriptures, and each has a panel on its chest depicting one of the four winged creatures named in the book of Revelation and associated with the four Christian evangelists: a lion, an ox, an angel and an eagle.
Jerusalem 637-8 Skeleton of a large six-legged mammalian creature, killed by a spear wound to the neck; genetic testing indicates extraterrestrial origin. Skeleton found inside heavily rusted scale armor with built-in saddle; design is similar to contemporary Byzantine horse armor.
Phoenicus (Finike, Turkey) 654 Wreck of a seagoing hovercraft, 15m in length. Hovercraft appears to have been solar-powered, and was equipped with a bronze ram at the prow and two ballistae amidships.
Dvin, Armenia 686-8 47 lithium-ion batteries, enclosed in a ceramic vessel. Batteries appear to have been used at time of deposition; a number of SCP-4066-B instances which could accept this shape of battery have been recovered.

These SCP-4066-B instances cannot be traced to a single extraterrestrial civilization; the Heraclian dynasty had probably established a relationship with some group of extraterrestrial arms dealers, although what they could have provided such a group in return for these weapons is unknown. It is possible that the formula for the incendiary compound known as "Greek fire", invented near the end of the Heraclian Dynasty, was also given by or purchased from extraterrestrial entities; research is ongoing.

Tiberius III Apsimar - SCP-4066-θ (698-705)

Tiberius III Apsimar was a Scientologist. Further information is restricted to personnel assigned to Project FROZEN SOUL and the Temporal Anomalies Department.

Anastasios II - SCP-4066-ι (713-715)

Recovery of the remains of Anastasios II revealed that this Emperor was a humanoid robot, controlled from a small cockpit within the chest cavity. The cockpit is sized for an entity between 15 and 20 cm in height, with at least six manipulating appendages. Anastasios II was powered by a small fusion reactor, which was damaged during its execution by Leo III; the identity and fate of its pilot are unknown.

Irene of Athens - SCP-4066-κ (797-802)

Irene of Athens, regent for her son Constantine VI and then sole ruler in her own right, was the host for an extraterrestrial parasite, which was invisible to the naked eye but could be seen by individuals with anomalously enhanced sight. Descriptions of the parasite's appearance vary; one of Irene's advisors, a eunuch named Aetios, compiled a number of these descriptions in Τὸν Βίον Τᾶς Βασσιλίσσας (The Life of the Empress), his biography of Irene.

Document 4066-κ-5: Τὸν Βίον Τᾶς Βασσιλίσσας, Book 4, Chapter 6
Circa 800. Fourth-generation parchment copy, Rome, Italy. Greek. Translated by Ioannes Pappapetrou, 1927.

Aetios claims that the parasite's advice was cryptic and often seemingly unhelpful, but that Irene "derived great comfort from its messages" and followed its commands whenever possible. He complied some of the parasite's messages, and Irene's interpretations, in a companion piece to Τὸν Βίον Τᾶς Βασσιλίσσας titled Ἀγαθαδαιμωνολόγοι (The Teachings of the Virtuous Daimon), some excerpts of which is reproduced below.

Document 4066-κ-7: Excerpts from the Ἀγαθαδαιμωνολόγοι
Circa 801. Fourth-generation parchment copy, Rome, Italy. Greek. Translated by Ioannes Pappapetrou, 1929.

When Irene died in exile on the island of Lesbos in 803, the parasite died with her; an imperial agent sent to retrieve her body claimed that it was buried in a mass of stone, metal, broken glass and rotting flesh, filling the entirety of her small house.

Leo V - SCP-4066-λ (813-820)

The personal journals of Leo V, dictated to a court scribe and preserved by the Monastery of Stoudios and then the Bab-i Mukhfi10, describe an abduction experience the emperor experienced around age 20. An excerpt has been reproduced below.

Document SCP-4066-λ-3: Personal Journal of Leo V
Circa 814. Fifth-generation paper copy, Istanbul, Turkey. Greek. Translated by Anne Benoit, 1977.

The artifact in question, SCP-4066-λ-B-1, was captured by the Ottoman Empire during the fall of Constantinople; it came into the possession of the Foundation when the Bab-i Mukhfi was disbanded in the aftermath of the First World War.

Macedonian Dynasty - SCP-4066-μ (867-1056)

The Macedonian Emperors belonged to a variety of alien species, equipped with memetic and holographic concealment devices that allowed them to pass as human. This dynasty was put into power by an extraterrestrial entertainment corporation, "HarrShaNget Pseudo-Authentic Productions"; the power struggles between the various emperors and their fake family members were recorded and broadcast on a number of interplanetary entertainment services as a reality television show, "Primitive Leadership Overtaken and Contested". The show was canceled after the 19th season, and all remaining contestants either faked their deaths or were replaced with androids.

Doukid Dynasty - SCP-4066-ν (1059-1081)

Members of the Doukid dynasty had access to consciousness-transfer technology similar to that found in SCP-1980. Arcadius the Ephesian, a court eunuch who wrote biographies of the Doukid emperors, reported that each member of the family "wore close to their skin a dark metal amulet, covered with gemstones"; when one member of the family, Ioannes Doukas, had his amulet taken from him briefly by a childhood playmate, "his soul fled from his eyes, and only when the amulet was returned was he himself once more". All Doukid emperors reportedly searched for body doubles, claiming to be afraid of assassination plots; on at least two recorded occasions, one of these emperors was reportedly killed in battle, only to appear alive later and claim that it was a body double who had died instead. Whether this technology came from another site like SCP-1980 or was introduced independently is unknown.

Komnenid Dynasty - SCP-4066-ξ (1081-1185)

Study of the preserved remains of Komnenid emperors has indicated that numerous members of the family were heavily cybernetically modified by an unknown entity or group. An abridged table of known augmented dynasty members and their modifications is presented below.

Table SCP-4066-ξ-1: Augmented Komnenoi

Dynasty Member Augmentations Other Notes
Alexios I Komnenos Artificial right arm and leg; subdermal ballistic fiber across torso and neck; artificial organ of unknown purpose in upper pelvic cavity. Decay of organic parts of corpse made the purpose of the extra organ unclear, but it seems to have been connected to the reproductive system.
Anna Komnene None found; see notes. Body showed signs of post-mortem mutilation: eyes, lungs, heart, and left leg were missing. It is possible that augmentations were removed for reuse after death.
John II Komnenos Entire digestive tract, from esophagus to colon, replaced with artificial organs capable of filtering out poisons and pathogens and digesting an number of substances normally indigestible by humans. Left arm artificial from elbow down. Replacement of left arm appears to have happened shortly before death.
Manuel I Komnenos Full-body cybernetic replacement from the neck down. Several parts of body were missing, including right arm, both feet, several internal components, and pieces of the artificial skin and armor. (See Alexios II, below.)
Maria of Antioch Artificial eyes, left leg. Left leg seems to be slightly shorter than right leg. Possible scarring around sites of implants indicates moderate to severe rejection syndrome.
Alexios II Komnenos Right arm, both feet, heart, liver, and parts of skin replaced with artificial components. Implants match missing components from body of Manuel I, and are not proportioned properly for Alexios II's body. Possible scarring from surgery procedure around implant sites
Andronikos I Komnenos Artificial left arm. Arm is made of bronze and silver, using contemporary metallurgy techniques. Contains no electronic components. Possibly made in imitation of advanced prostheses worn by earlier dynasts.

Save for Andronikos I's primitive prosthetic arm, all of the prostheses worn by Komnenid emperors and family members were similar in aesthetic and composition, presumably deriving from the same source.

Angelid Dynasty - SCP-4066-ο (1185-1204)

The Angelid dynasty was heavily funded by a single instance of SCP-3201, which produced gold, silver, and bronze in exchange for icons of obscure saints. The Angelids believed that the SCP-3201 instance was an angel, who had been sent by God to give boons to their family; the founder of the family, Constantine Angelos, chose his surname to reflect this relationship. It is believed that this dynasty fell from power when the SCP-3201 instance was satisfied with its collection of icons and no longer provided them with precious metals.

Palaiologan Dynasty - SCP-4066-π (1261-1453)

The Palaiologan Dynasty was not controlled, supported, or composed of extraterrestrial entities; however, they were aware of the SCP-4066 phenomenon, and took steps to counteract the influence of extraterrestrial entities on Byzantine politics. Michael VIII Palaiologos, after reclaiming Constantinople from the Latin Empire, founded the Military Order of Saint Constantine the Great, an organization modeled on contemporary Catholic military orders like the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller; its founding document, the Creed of Saint Constantine, established the duties and responsibilities of the organization, and is reproduced below.

Document SCP-4066-π-1: Creed of Saint Constantine
Circa 1265. Marble inscription, Istanbul, Turkey. Greek. Translated by William Wentworth FitzWilliam, Viscount Milton, 1864.

Membership in the Order was restricted to Byzantine nobility from families that had never had "the taint of the unearthly," and several prominent noble families, including the remaining branches of the Angeloi and Komnenoi, were thus banned from the Order entirely. While the Order of Constantine was not the first esoteric containment organization, it was the first to be more than moderately successful; they repelled a number of attempts by extraterrestrial and extradimensional forces to depose, control, bribe, or replace various Palaiologan Emperors, and on two separate occasions led the armies of the Empire to victory against full-fledged extraterrestrial invasions. These victories were recorded in the Συγγραφαὶ Ἱππῶν Κονσταντίνου (Histories of the Knights of Constantine), a compendium written by a number of Byzantine scholars and court scribes; an excerpt is reproduced below, describing the Battle of Nicomedia, fought in 1312 against an invasion force apparently comprised of both terrestrial and extraterrestrial mercenaries employed by an individual known as "Alexander Star-Born".

Document 4066-π-12: Συγγραφαὶ Ἱππῶν Κονσταντίνου Book 7, Chapter 23
Circa 1315. Second-generation vellum copy, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Greek. Translated by Ioannes Pappapetrou, 1933.

After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Order of Constantine was split; one branch of the knights, believing that the Ottoman Empire had, by right of conquest, taken up the mantle of the Roman Empire, swore their fealty to the Ottoman Sultan, becoming an integral part of the Bab-i Mukhfi, while another branch fled for Russia, continuing their work in support of the Orthodox Church. The Russian branch of the Order was folded into the Tsar's Seers16 by Tsar Peter the Great in 1699, a Foundation precursor organization that specialized in the preemptive destruction of esoteric threats via precognition and thaumatological advanced-warning systems.

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