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Citation of sources and literature was restricted to the most important evidence (for details, see Jacobs, 1994, pp. Since Herodotus’s list is not considered a useable source, specific information about tax revenues cannot be given. This major complex is elusive as an administrative unit, yet the classical authors provide the names of governors such as Sybares in the time of Cyrus the Great (Trogus apud Just., 1.7.1) and Ariobarzanes during the reign of Darius III (Arr., 3.18.2; cf. In the Persepolis Fortification Tablet (PF) 681 (cf. In Alexander’s time, further governors, presumably of lesser rank, are mentioned for the province’s southern part, which may correspond to Yutiyā in the Bisitun inscription (Arr., 37.3; Stein, cols. In the west the province borders on Persis (see above 1.1.1), in the north on Parthia, because it includes the greatest part of the Dašt-e Lut, and in the east on Zranka/Drangiana and Maka/Gedrosia (Strab., 15.2.14).
The frontier must have been marked by the lake Hāmun and the marshy country of western Sistān, and must have run south-southwest from that point to meet the coast near modern Bandar-e Jāsk, because Arrian reports that west of this border the coastal line bent northwest (Arr., . Under Darius III the father of Oxathres, commander of the Uxians and Susians at Gaugamela (Arr., 3.8.5), filled the post (Curt., 5.2.17).
was noted by many scholars, and it was believed that the OP lists did not offer what seemed to be present in the two other groups of sources, i.e., an enumeration of the provinces of the empire (e.g., Hdt., 3.89: “... Herodotus was also preferred over the Alexander historians, both because, as a contemporary, he was thought to have had more direct information and because of the traditional esteem he enjoyed among modern scholars. Moreover, the inscription on Darius I’s tomb at Naqš-e Rostam (DNa 38-42) suggests that the list it gives had a programmatic character: “But if you shall think: ‘How many (are) those countries which Darius the king held?
Yet the oldest catalogue originates from the Bisitun inscription, a text whose aims included historical documentation.
The central Minor Satrapy always gave its name to the Main Satrapy, and likewise the central Main Satrapy gave its name to the Great Satrapy.
While offices in inferior units were hereditary within families and could even be held by local rulers—the latter arrangement being a feature of regulated autonomy (Jacobs, 1999)—the administrators of Great Satrapies were in each case newly appointed by the royal court; and such offices were probably without exception held by Achaemenid princes who did not reach the throne and by members of privileged families (Jacobs, 1994, pp. The old capitals—Sardis, Babylon, Memphis, Ecbatana, Pasargadae, Bactra (see BACTRIA, in III, p.
But even then there were voices that questioned the usefulness of the list (Krumbholz, 1883, pp. To document the extent of the empire completely, it would be quite sufficient to enumerate all provinces of one specific level of the administrative hierarchy.
This was already so in the case of Paul Krumbholz (1861-1945), the first who—at least for Asia Minor—attempted a more comprehensive treatment of satrapal administration. As a way of allowing both the OP inscriptions and Herodotus’s list to count as reliable, the possibility was repeatedly considered of assigning administration and fiscal matters to two different bureaucratic systems (Balcer, 1989, pp. ’ look at the sculptured figures which bear the throne platform” (Schmitt, 2000, p. The assumption of incompleteness, however, proves to be invalid if one accepts that the administration was structured hierarchically, a proposition that is both obvious and demonstrable for local bureaucracies and in the imperial administration.
in primary and secondary sources reveals that they are not precise terms at all (Schmitt, 1976). Sound evidence is nonetheless extant to prove that major administrative complexes in Achaemenid times originated from earlier structures: Persia herself, Babylonia, Egypt, and Lydia.
In order to guarantee control over an empire which expanded rapidly between 550 and 522 BCE, Cyrus the Great (r. 530-522; see CAMBYSES ii) adapted the existing structures of predecessor empires on a large scale. 52-88) that was still the standard point of reference at the time of the empire’s divisions. But this is unproblematic, because the history of the empire, especially in the times of Darius I and Xerxes I (r.
These structures in turn determined the hierarchical construction of the satrapal system which, remaining essentially unchanged, proved a successful instrument of administration throughout the entire Achaemenid period. A direct continuity is thus established between late Achaemenid times and the era of the Diadochi, and, conversely, the staffing schedule of Alexander’s time is largely valid at least for late Achaemenid times. Herodotus’s suggestion that peoples were the constituent elements of the satrapies has led to the idea that the Achaemenids understood their empire as the sum of its peoples and did not define it territorially. 485-465), is well documented (on the dating of inscriptions with lists, see Sancisi-Weerdenburg, 2001, pp. 327-31): After 515 the inscriptions register a newly acquired province in the shape of the lower Indus valley (Hinduš), and after 512 they add the three provinces Thrace (Skudra), Libya (Putāyā), and Nubia (Kūšiyā), yet there are no extant lists from the periods in which, for example, the Thracian possessions, parts of Ionia, or even Egypt had been lost. Those who give precedence to the Herodotean list are bound to take an entirely different historical approach from those who prefer the OP lists of countries.
The OP lists, in contrast, record a basic set of countries that remains essentially identical from the times of Cambyses until the early years of Xerxes I.
If these lists are taken as evidence for the imperial administration, they document continuity across the reign of Darius I, which in turn excludes that a reform of Darius I made deep inroads into administrative structures that had grown up (Jacobs, 1994, pp. Moreover, compared with Herodotus’s list, the OP lists, especially the one on the Bisitun rock, and the satrapy lists of the Alexander historians, which reflect conditions in the time of the Successors, are very similar (Jacobs, 1994, pp. Some differences, such as the absence of Arabia (see ARABĀYA) and of the Saka regions, can be explained in terms of losses during Achaemenid times or of their not having been conquered by Alexander.
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The satrapies formed a system which made it possible to rule over the whole Achaemenid territory, to raise and forward taxes, to recruit military forces, and to control local bureaucracies. 139), in archives (e.g., Hallock; Stolper, 1990; Koch), and on coins (e.g., Alram, pp. From the viewpoint of literary history it is an insertion from another genre, the epic, and is to be evaluated accordingly (Armayor). 255-57), this is no surprise, since that research throws ever more sharply into relief the way in which the fashioning of material is a decisive component in Herodotus’s historical work (Bichler and Rollinger, pp. The catalogue of Herodotus is as incompatible with the lists of the Achaemenid inscriptions as with those of the Alexander historians or with the numerous attestations of the Greek and Latin authors. These vary in reliability, but, taken together, they do allow reconstructing the empire’s divisions at Babylon and Triparadisus (Jacobs, 1994, pp. As a result, a very considerable degree of continuity is detectable from the time of Darius III (r. He either retained in their posts the officials he came upon or replaced them with people who enjoyed his trust. 87), and even quite recently Pierre Lecoq (1990) has tried to provide this interpretation with a philological foundation. 299-305) with, at most, 23 items and the list in XPh with 32 are at odds with the observation that the empire’s territory remained substantially unchanged. The conclusion was drawn that the lists were more or less incomplete, especially in view of the omission of names that were regarded as indispensible, such as Cilicia, Hellespontine Phrygia, and Syria (Krumbholz, p. If some names were nevertheless added in later inscriptions, it was to foster the illusion that, now as before, the rulers were augmenting their territorial property, although the process of extending the frontiers had been stagnating since the last decade of the 6th century BCE.