Ever since the Renaissance, when in Central Europe the interest in classical antiquity developed, cities, especially capitals, started to look for their origins. And of course, roman ancestry was considered prestigious, especially if ancient ruins were still visible in the urban tissue. The ancient town of Scupi is considered to be the predecessor of the modern city of Skopje, although it is today located several kilometres outside of the centre. Again, its history documents major political changes and military invasions in the region.
It was known from historical sources, that an older prehistoric settlement existed on the site. Attributed to the Dardani its numerous remains were discovered in the last decades during modern archaeological excavations. The roman city was founded in the second half of the first century AD. In the past, the focus of the research was oriented towards the city walls and cemeteries that surrounded the town, but with the increase of interest for its internal structures the baths and most importantly, the theatre was excavated. Demonstrating the cultural standards, lifestyle and religious affinities of its inhabitants in late antiquity are the visible remains of basilicas. Located on one of the major communication routes from the Aegean to the Balkans, the city was a desired booty for the invading barbarians. It was plundered by the Goths and Huns to be finally destroyed in 518 by an earthquake.