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The continuity from the beginnings of the Achaemenid empire in the second half of the 6th century BCE until its collapse demonstrates that this administrative system was a construct that not only regulated administrative processes in peacetime, but proved effective during crises as well (Jacobs, 2003a).

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.

522-486) from Susa and on the Suez Canal stelae (Yoyotte). This list continues to be claimed as the basic source for the reconstruction of satrapal administration (for summaries of previous research, see: Jacobs, 1994, pp. Even very recently this controversial passage provided the basic data for the expositions of Achaemenid provincial administration in large-scale historical works (Briant, 1996; Debord, 1999). This is surely the sort of list we have in the Bisitun text.

Stève, 1974-; Schmitt, 1991; 2000; Lecoq, 1997) and, in addition, the enumerations on the base of the statue of Darius I (r. 189), and as a result they are often supposed to be ideologically determined declarations, not historically reliable sources (Frye, pp. 6-7), a position which since has been adopted by a growing number of scholars (Altheim, pp. Full use could be made of such a list for the reconstruction of the imperial administration, and it would match the claim of its authors to control all territory within the empire, including autonomous regions and inaccessible areas of refuge such as mountains (Jacobs, 1999).

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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.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.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.

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