Scaurianus, Roman governor of Dacia, Roman inscriptions in the Austrian National Library, fake of the 16th century, imperial slave, residence of the prince of Siebenbürgen, Alba Iulia


At least one of the Roman inscriptions of the former Habsburgian province of Siebenbürgen (Romania), which came to Vienna in the 18th century and are fixed on the walls of the staircase to the “Prunksaal” of the Austrian National Library today, seems to be a fake. It is the dedication of a certain Scaurianus to I(uppiter) o(ptimus) m(aximus) and the dii Penates (CIL III 1081 = ILS 3951). The lettering is unusual, there are uncommon abbreviation-marks above the letters I. O. M., and the dedicator, believed governor of the province of Dacia, is called just by his cognomen without full name and titles. But another Scaurianus, an imperial slave, is attested in the region. He seems to have been an official of the administration of the Dacian gold-mines (CIL III 1610 = IDR 3/3, 362). It could be possible, that in the 16th century the probably only preserved upper part of his dedication, when they mistook him for the governor, was chiseled to a new marble monument as a decoration to the residence of the princes of Siebenbürgen at Alba Iulia, where we know from an early source the stone had been. The text of the original ancient monument might have run as follows: I(ovi) o(ptimo) m(aximo) / et dis Pe/natibus / Scaurianus / [Caes(aris) ser(vus) vil(icus) / pro se et suis / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito)].