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satrap(sā`trăp), governor of a province (satrapy) of the ancient Persian Empire. He was nominated by the king and given extensive powers. Darius IDarius I
(Darius the Great) , d. 486 B.C., king of ancient Persia (521–486 B.C.), called also Dariavaush and Darius Hystaspis (after his father, Hystaspes or Vishtaspa).
..... Click the link for more information. reorganized the privileges and duties of his satraps in the 6th cent. B.C.; the number of satraps varied from 20 to 28 during his reign. To prevent the concentration of power in one man's hands, certain officials, responsible only to the king, checked up on the satrap. The king also regulated the taxes and imposed a fixed sum upon each satrap. Alexander the Great revised the system, replacing Persians with Macedonians and reducing their powers. The command of the troops was taken from the satraps, who lost the right to engage mercenaries and to issue coinage.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
the vicegerent of a satrapy and the head of its administration. The satrap coined silver and copper coins, was responsible for the collection of tribute, and was in charge of local civil servants.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. (in ancient Persia) a provincial governor
2. a subordinate ruler, esp a despotic one
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005