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359 PERSIA.-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

government by satrapies. The satrapy was either a certain district specially organized as

a provincial department, or one of the many petty states over which the new order was

extended. The governor, or satrap, with his attendant officers, was in every case to hold

a like relation to his sovereign, but the people over whom he ruled were permitted to

retain their local institutions of language, law, and custom. The satrap was in all cases

appointed by the king, and was removable at his pleasure. He was charged with the

collection of the taxes, the maintenance of order, and the administration of the laws. He

was the representative of the sovereign, and might institute-indeed was expected to

institute-a court similar to that of the Empire, but less elaborate. The satrap had his

retinue of councilors, eunuchs, guards, and servants. He had his harem organized and

managed after the example set by the king. He had his court ceremonial and edicts, all

intended to do locally and on a small scale what the Great King did with pomp and

pageantry. The office was one which in its very nature was subject to the grossest abuses.

Since the chief duty of the satrap was to collect and forward to his master certain

revenues and tributes, and since, that done, the king was not likely to look carefully

into the matter of assessments and taxes, a vast opportunity was given for peculation, and

most of the satraps availed themselves thereof to heap up enormous treasure.

The hardships to which the people of the satrapies were subject were increased by the

military system which was adopted. The army of the Empire was composed almost exclusively

of Medes and. Persians. The troops were quartered at various places in the satrapies, each

fort and stronghold being thus occupied by a foreign soldiery, who cared nothing for the

locality in which they were established. The number of satrapies into which the Empire was

divided varied at different times from twenty to thirty. In a few instances, as in

Cilicia, Paphlagonia, and Phoenicia, the native rulers of the country were retained as a

kind of concession to the old system, or perhaps a necessary compromise with the spirit of

the people.

As to Persia proper, her condition was exceptional. Over her no governor was appointed.

The home kingdom was under the immediate jurisdiction of the king. Nor were any regular

taxes assessed against the people of Persia; they, on the contrary, making voluntary

contributions when the king passed through the country.

One of the principal advantages derived from the new order was the substitution of a

system of regular taxation for the method of special levies and contributions which had

hitherto prevailed. The aggregate amount obtained under the new regime was, from the

system introduced in the assessments and collections, much greater than the sums derived

from the old manner of special levy. The annual amount assessed to each satrapy varied

according to the wealth and the character of the productions of the province. The poorer

satrapies paid an annual tribute of a little over two hundred thousand dollars. The better

class were assessed to the extent of about a million and a-quarter dollars; while the

richest--India-was obliged to pay as much as five million dollars annually! Sometimes the

levy was made in kind. Egypt was assessed to be paid in corn; Media, in mules, sheep, and

horses; and Babylonia was, at least in one instance, required to meet a levy of five

hundred boy eunuchs!

The chief danger to which the satrapial government was exposed was, of course, the

liability of treason and conspiracy on the part of the governor. The avoidance of this

peril seems to have received a large share of the king's attention. The difficulty was met

by the establishment of a system of checks among the royal officers. Of these there were

three in each satrapy directly amenable to the king. These were the satrap himself, the

military commandant of the district, and the secretary. The first was the administrative

officer of the government; the second was responsible for his division of the army; and

the duty of the third was to keep the monarch constantly informed of the state of affairs

in