Eth. STOBI Στόβοι, Strab. vii. p.329
4, viii. p. 389; Ptol. 3.13.4
; Liv. 33.19
; Plin. Nat. 4.17
), a town in the NW. of Paeonia in Macedonia, which appears to have been a place of some importance under the Macedonian kings, although probably it had been greatly reduced by the incursions of the Dardani, when Philip had an intention of founding a new city near it in memory of a victory over these troublesome neighbours, and which he proposed to call Perseis, in honour of his son.
At the Roman conquest, Stobi was made the place of deposit of salt, for the supply of the Dardani, the monopoly of which was given to the Third Macedonia.
In the time of Pliny (l.c.
) Stobi was a municipal town, but probably as late as the time of Heliogabalus it was made a “colonia.” When about A.D. 400 Macedonia was under a “consular,” Stobi became the chief town of Macedonia II or Salutaris (Marquardt, in Becker's Röm. Alter.
vol. iii. pt. i. p. 118).
According to the Tabular Itinerary it stood 47 M.P. from Heracleia of Lyncus, which was in the Via Egnatia, and 55 M. P. from Tauriana, and was therefore probably in the direct road from Heracleia to Serdica.
The position must have been therefore on the Erigon, 10 or 12 miles above the junction of that river with the Axins, a situation which agrees with that of Livy, who describes it as belonging to Deuriopus of Paeonia, which was watered by the Erigon. Stobi was a point from which four roads issued. (Peut. Tab.
) One proceeded NW. to Scupi, and from thence to Naissus on the great SE. route from Viminacium on the Danube to Byzantium; the second NE. to Serdica, 1000 M. P. SE. of Naissus on the same route; the third SE. to Thessalonica; and the fourth SW. to Heracleia, the last forming a communication with that central point on the Via Egnatia leading through Stobi from all the places on the three former routes. In A.D. 479 Stobi was captured by Theodoric the Ostrogoth (Malch. Philadelph. Exc. de Leg. Rom.
pp. 78--86, ap. Müller, Fragm. Hist. Graec. vol. iv. p. 125); and in the Bulgarian campaign of A.D. 1014, it was occupied by Basil II. and the Byzantine army (Στόπειον,
Cedren. p. 709).
The geography of the basin of the Erigon in which Stobi was situated [p. 2.1037]
is so imperfectly known that there is a difficulty in identifying its site: in Kiepert's map (Europaïsche Turkei
) the ruins of Stobi are marked to the W. of Demírkapi,
or the pass of the “Iron Gate.” (Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iii. pp. 306, 440.)