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340) and Arachoti—preserved their exceptional position throughout the Achaemenid epoch and in most cases beyond it as well.

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.

The words correspond approximately to the general terms “governor” and “province.” The word ) signify areas or persons of authority (Tuplin, p. Moreover, the classical secondary sources testify repeatedly to the existence of higher- and lower-ranking positions. This is most plausibly to be explained by the process of expansion of the Achaemenid empire. 560-546) was preceded by the annexation of Cappadocia and followed by that of the coast of Asia Minor, and the attack on Egypt was followed by campaigns against Libya and Nubia. In the case of Media, of course, the existence of older state-organized orbits of power, as reconstructed for instance by Wolfram Nagel (1982, pp. Brown, 1986; 1988; and the discussion in Lanfranchi et al., 2003). But the evidence gleaned from the archeological inspection of some extremely extensive pre-Achaemenid collective ventures, such as defense systems directed against the nomads of the Turanian steppe or water-supply installations, makes the case for pre-Achaemenid governmental organization quite compelling, and thus the postulate of a Kayanid empire centering on Bactria more reasonable (, tr. They are in part still recognizable as blocks in the Bisitun inscription, although there the central areas of the older empires and their main provinces—Lydia as well as Cappadocia, Babylonia as well as Assyria, Media as well as Armenia, and so forth—already form standard units in the imperial administration, hereafter referred to as , is recognizable in large parts of the empire, though not everywhere.

The campaigns of the two most important conquerors, Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses, aimed at acquisition of the entire territory of the empires they were attacking. In other words, conquest of the ancient Oriental empires included their provinces: Lydia came with Cappadocia and the coastal provinces on the shore, Babylonia with Assyria, Media with Armenia, and so forth. Still deeper are the doubts about the existence of comparable governmental structures in the regions east of the central Iranian salt deserts that the sources hardly ever mention (reconstruction by Christensen; for critique and commentary, see Lommel; Kellens; Nagel, 1982, par. Because of the source material, the construction of the imperial administration can seldom be followed further down, but in the west it can be stated that Mysia belonged to Hellespontine Phrygia and Lycia to Caria as still minor entities, just as Phoenicia belonged to Ebir-nāri/Syria (see EBER-NĀRI).

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.

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