STOBI PDF Print E-mail


Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel, A Guide to East-Central Europe. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. (see pages 258) Extracted by Elaine B. Kolinsky before 1997.


Stobi  is near the confluence of the Vardar and Crna rivers and the town of Gradsko. This ancient Roman commercial center and largest archaeological site in Macedonia found remains of ancient Jewish culture in the Balkans from archaeological excavations . Presumably a cemetery existed in Roman times because of the Roman Synagogue discovered in 1931, seven years after systematic excavations began. A third century column was found with a long Greek inscription describing the construction of a synagogue by Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos. The inscription reads as follows: 'The year 311 [?] Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos, also named Achyrios, father [pater] of the synagogue of Stobi, having lived my whole life according to Judaism, have, in fulfilment of a vow, [given] the buildings to the holy place, and the triclinium, together with the tetrastoon, with my own means, without in the least touching the sacred [funds]. But the ownership and disposition of all the upper chambers shall be retained by me, Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos, and my heirs for life. Whoever seeks in any way to alter any of these dispositions of mine shall pay the Patriarch 250,000 denarii. For thus have I resolved. But the repair of the roof tiles of the upper chambers shall be carried out by me and my heirs.' [Levine, 2000]  The excavations can be visited 20 minutes south of Veles by car, 3 kilometres from the Gradsko exit on Highway E-75. The main museum entrance and guard station near the railroad and the river, on a local road have no toilets, restaurant, or other tourist amenities. [January 2009]

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