Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


The victory of Cyrus the Great over Astyags, the last Median king in 559 BC, led to the formation of Achaemenid kingdom. The conquest of some Eastern lands during the reign of Darius the Great and Egypt by Cambyses, helped the expanision of the Persian Empire from Sand River in the East to Mediterranean Sea and the Nile River in the West, and from Areal Sea in the North to the Persian Sea’s southern shores in the South. To administrate this vast empire Darius divided the Persian Empire to various Satrapies. Although after the conquest of India, Libya and Ethiopia by Darius the Great (in 517-518 BC) to the end of Persian Dynasty, no change took place in Persian boundaries, we witness a frequent change in The number of these Satrapies in the list of inscriptions. The number of Satrapies and the list of nations and the ethnical groups who have been ruled by Persians have been studied by scholars of Iranian Ancient history, but the political position of these Satrapies and their place in the Achaemenid inscriptions list as well as the reasons behinsd the changes in numbers of Satrapies has not been studied yet. However, by using historical research methods (based on Darius the Great's inscriptions) and comparing them with other sources such as those of Greeks, this paper attempts to examine the political position of Achaemenids satrapies as the main research question. To answer this question, first, the inscriptions (in which the name of Satrapies has been listed) will be introduced and second, based on those lists, we will investigate the number and the place of each Satrapy and also examine the grounds of political change in the position of Satrapies during the Persian Empire.