Ancient Persian Governors


The Achaemenid Persian Empire functioned as well as it did because of the efficient bureaucracy established by its founder Cyrus the Great (r. c. 550-530 BCE) which was administered through the satrapy system. A Persian governor of a province was known as a satrap (“protector of the kingdom” or “keeper of the province”) and the province as a satrapy.

More about: Ancient Persian Governors


  • 2334 BCE - 2083 BCE
    Position of provincial governors is established by the Akkadian Empire.
  • 745 BCE - 727 BCE
    Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III revises and implements Akkadian model of government.
  • c. 647 BCE
    Akkadian/Assyrian system of government adopted by the Medes under Phraortes.
  • c. 550 BCE - 330 BCE
    Achaemenid Empire of Persia refines the earlier system of satraps.
  • c. 377 BCE - c. 353 BCE
    Reign of Mausolus, semi-independent satrap of Caria.
  • 312 BCE - 63 BCE
    Seleucid Empire adopts Achaemenid system of Persian government but with Greek satraps.
  • 247 BCE - 224 CE
    Parthia adopts satrapy system but decentralizes the government which weakens the empire.
  • 224 CE - 651 CE
    Sassanian Empire adopts satrapy system and founds its principles on religion of Zoroastrianism/Zorvanism.