Stobi developed from a Paeonian settlement established in the  Archaic period. Located on the northern side of a terrace, the early town covered an area of about 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft). Its proximity to the junction of the Erigón and Axiós Rivers as well as its position in the fertile central Vardar valley allowed it quickly to develop a flourishing economy and to establish trade. Nearby Mount Klepa was a lucrative source of marble. The initial Paeonian population was later supplemented by other immigrant groups.

It is believed that in 217 BCE, Philip V annexed Paionia during his campaign against the Dardani who had entered Bylazora, the largest Paeonian town. Stobi in an archaeological site of the ancient city of Paeonia. Later, the city was turned into the capital of the Roman province Macedonia Salutaris. It is considered the most famous archaeological site in North Macedonia. Stobi was an important urban, military, administrative, trade and religious center of the Roman and Early Byzantine empires. Much of the city layout is still visible today, with parts of streets and building excavated and restored. Historical sites include the Central Basilica and Synagogue, Via Axia, House of the Psalms, Magnae Thermae, and many more.