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Stobi



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Stobi,
or Stobas was, according to Livy, one of the most ancient cities of Macedonia. Situate in Pelagonia, a central region of that kingdom, to the north-east of Pella, it is called by Pliny oppidum civium Romanorum, and its coins prove it to have been a municipium; but by whom it was invested with that character, whether by Augustus of by Vespasian, is uncertain.--Paulus includes this place amongst those of Macedonia, which enjoyed the privileges of the Jus Italicum.-- The money, struck by the Stobenses, comprised but one Autonome; the rest are Imperial, with Latin legends, beginning with Vespesian, and continuing under Titus, Titus and Domitian, Domitian, Trajan, S. Severus, Domna, Caracalla, and Geta, finishing with Elegabalus.--The following are the principal types on the coins of MVNIC., MUNICI., or MVNICIP. STOBENS. Municipium Stobensium, as given in Vaillant's work on the Roman Colonies:--
Temple.-- A second brass of Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, has a temple of four columns, in which a military figure stands with right hand extended, and holing a spear in his left.
[The people of Stobi seem to have been much attached to the Flavian family, for we see coins of this municipium dedicated in succession to Vespasian and to his two sons and successors in the empire.--The temple on the above reverse is regarded by Vaillant as representing one which was erected in honour of Augustus, rather than of Vespasian. There is a smilar type on a coin of the Stobenses bearing the head of Trajan.
Woman turreted.--A second brass of Vespasian exhibits a female figure standing, clothed in a short dress, and wearing towers on her head. In her right hand is a Victory; in her left a cornucopiae; at her feet on each side are spoils of armour.
[The woman thus depicted seems to be the Genius of Stobi. The crown of towers symbolises the municipium, whilst the horn of plenty is an especial attribute of an urban Genius. She holds a victory, in reference to the conquest of Judaea, the warlike spoils being indications of that recent event. It was by striking this medal that the people of Stobi congratulated the emperor on his decisive and appalling triumphs over the Jewish nation.--Col. i. p. 133.]
Victory.--A second brass of S. Severus has for legend on tis reverse MVNIC. STOBENS., and for type Victory walking, with crown and palm branch.
[Vaillant supposes the Stobenses to have placed this type on the coins of Severus, in memory of the victory which that emperor had gained over the generals of Pescennius Niger, at Cyzicus.]
Victory.--There is a medal of the Stobenses dedicatied to Julia Domna, on which a female figure, turret-crowned, and with wings, stands holding a cornucopiae in her left hand, and in her right a hasta pura, round which a serpent coils itself.
[The people of Stobi, in consecrating a coin to the wife of Severus, as they had already done to himself, have flatteringly conjoined the Goddess of Victory with the Genius of their city. Respecting Victory with wings, Ovid writes (Trist. Eleg. i. lib. i.)

Victoria Dea te solitis circumvolat alis.

The serpent is added, as a companion of Victory, because, as Valerius Maximus observes, the former foretold the latter: in other words the serpent predicted military successes. The head of the woman is turreted, and bears a cornucopiae, as the Genius of a city. Thus, in their self-exalting adulation, the Stobenses represent Victoria under the form of Genius, on the coins of Domna, as though that empress was herself at once the Guardian Deity of their town, and the companion of Severus in his victorious career.---Col. ii. 22.]
A similar type appears on coins struck by the same municipium in honour of Caracella, whose successes over the Parthians had afforded security to the whole province of Macedonia.-- The same type is also appropriated to a coin of Geta; and to Elagabalus (the last in the list of emperors whose portraits appear on Stobensian medals) a second brass is dedicated, with the same reverse, struck on the occasion of Macrinus's defeat and death.
River deities.-- On an extremely rare and rather singular coin, dedicated to Geta by the Municipium Stobensium, two Rivers are personified in a recumbent posture, resting each an elbow on an urn whence water flows, and between and above them is a military figure.
[The site of Stobe is pointed out by this type, as being at the confluence of two streams, one of which was called Erigon, the other Rhoedias. The figure, in warlike attire, would seem to be that of Geta, to whom the province dedicates itself.-- Col. ii. 59.]
Observe -- In the text of Vaillant one of the river deities is described as bearded, and the other as without a beard; but in the engraving inserted to illustrate the letter-press, both those recumbent figures are drawn as females, clothed in the stola, and of course without beards. Most probably the engraver has made a mistake.



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