Der Satrap. Ein achaimenidischer Amtsträger und seine Handlungsspielräume

Klinkott, Hilmar
Frankfurt am Main 2005: Verlag Antike
578 S.
€ 69,90
Rezensiert für H-Soz-Kult von
Christopher Tuplin, The School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool

Klinkott's work, a revised dissertation at the University of Tübingen, focuses on Achaemenid satraps, the highest-ranking administrators of the Persian Empire. The satrap (nominated for life, but precariously dependent on royal favour) dispensed justice under royal and local law, fostered prosperity, and sent the King a fixed tribute from tax-income (though no particular income-stream was specifically tributary). He used locally-sourced troops for regional security and might raise a full-scale levy. Separate royal garrison-troops guarded roads, couriers and tribute, but there was no systematic tension between satrap and garrison-commander. Satraps ("protectors of the kingdom") oversaw administration and defence, not imperial expansion, and were distinct from strategoi (hence no satrapal coinage, only Strategengeld), though Kings sometimes appointed satraps as strategoi, and certain military roles were closely associated with particular satraps. The capacity of satraps and strategoi to make treaties was limited by royal supremacy. The roster of satrapies varied, but no official list survives: neither royal Lists-of-Lands nor Herodotean lists qualify, though the latter may incorporate data from such a list. Persis was no normal satrapy: the heartland's "protector" was the King himself. At this level of generality much is acceptable. But at the level of detail there are serious imperfections. Some indicative examples follow.

Persepolis documents: p. 212 cites PF 882-889 for Shiraz Schatzwärter under Karkiš; there are treasury-people at Shiraz, but PF 882-889 do not use the term, nor are they the only texts about Karkiš's Shiraz workers. p. 207 cites an irrelevant set of texts to show use of satrapal seals to approve payments. p. 149 cites PF 669 for *abistavana = royal-domain; but 733-734, 1527, 2035 actually provide the evidence. Royal provisioning is discussed without reference to J-texts. Attempts to combine Persepolitan data with ps.-Aristot. Oec. are pointless without clear doctrine about the overall system. Klinkott lacks one, mentions only one of Aperghis' four relevant papers, and does not exploit Pierre Briant's treatment in "Histoire de l'empire perse" (Paris 1996).

Greek language: There are numerous mistranslations of words (e.g. thesmophoroi does not mean "Gesetzes-Hüter": p. 139) and sentences (pp. 115, 165 n. 69, 227, 293, 294, 354, 358, 360, 371, 418-9, 420). Elevation of dunamis (Strab. 525C) and thesmophoros (cf. Hdt. 3,31,2) to quasi-technical status is unjustified. Ephoreuein khoras (Aesch. Pers. 7) could "translate" xšaçapavan (satrap) - but Aeschylus' chorus are not satraps! Klinkott postulates an official protocol: "satrap of the King appointed by (king's name) over (geographical area)". This is prompted by five Greek texts, of which one (Xen. Anab. 1,9,7) is grammatically misrepresented and none invites conclusions about official titulature.

Satrap: For Klinkott the word designates a single (high) office. Exceptions are "mistakes" and include "Teschtores", which Klinkott takes as a personal name, though it is actually an Egyptian province. "PN, son of Sarmapiya, the satrap" in a Cilician text (Achaemenid History 6, 305) would presumably be another "mistake", had Klinkott mentioned him. Astonishingly the tabulation of source-references for office-holders at pp. 503f does not register the sources' terminology. Incidentally, if Mania is not a satrap (Xen. Hell. 3,1,12 is another "mistake"), her case cannot prove that one could request satrapal office. Klinkott cites Plut. Alex. 39 for a story about Mazaeus refusing a satrapy. Actually Mazaeus' son refuses an additional satrapy - and there is no solid evidence for him holding any satrapy.

Judicial process: Klinkott finds Royal Judges in four Egyptian texts. Only one provides such evidence. Similarly, of three texts alleged to show Persian incorporation of native structures only one appears to do so. The claim that Widranga is attested as sgn is misleading: the term only appears in formulae (eight texts, some unmentioned by Klinkott) and is primarily generic. TADE A5.2 mentions "judges of the province", the prtky' (assessors) of Naphaina the rab hayla, and interrogation before "Tarwuh and the judge". None of this appears in Klinkott. Also unregistered are two other instances of judicial activity by the rab hayla, the judges of TADE A5.5 (+ Semitica 1986, 82f.), the dtbry' of Saqqara 13-14, and the azdakara of TADE A6.1. Klinkott's view of Bagadates in TADE A4.6 is more daring than his matter-of-fact reference implies.

Taxation: Inference from an Egyptian text that customs income financed royal provisions presumes a debatable view of the "royal house" and a highly unlikely one of eisagogima/exagogima in Ps.-Arist. Oec. 2,1,3. Klinkott notes royal imposts in one Carian text (though not basilikoi phoroi in another) but his treatment is inconsistent (cf. pp. 182-3, 184 on epigraphe) and linguistically insensitive. It is debatable whether despatch of tribute from satrap to King is visible in PF 1357 and PFa 14. But PFa 14 is anyway not straightforward: the "treasure" is carried by "boys of Abamuš (alias Irdabama) and Irtašduna", the only time these two economically active queens appear together: perhaps we have a rather unusual diversion of a mixed group of royal workers to tribute-haulage. If so, Klinkott does not notice. In Egypt he sees a tribute-collecting hierarchy involving nomarch-frataraka and haftaxvapata, but has no consistent view about the scope of these officials. Use of Xenophon (Anab. 3,4,31; 4,4,2. 7. 9-12) as evidence about satrapal and royal economies is based on no discernible way of identifying the two in Xenophon's narrative, and discussion of cadastration ignores Stolper's identification of a related Persian term *karahmara- and SIG³ 279 (Zelea) + REG 1987, 332 (279). Klinkott cites Briant/Descat for the idea that halakh = tax (from alakum = go) reflects a tax on travellers "going on the king's road". But what Briant/Descat say is that this idea misunderstands the earlier scholarship and is not compelling.

Garrisons: In Xen. Oec. 4,9-10 Klinkott finds (i) phrourarchs of satrapal troops, subordinate to the satrap (parallel with civil arkhontes responsible for agriculture) and (ii) a singular phrourarch who commands the acropolis-garrison of the satrapal residence. But (ii) is senseless in a context about protecting the khora, and (i) cannot be right: 4,9-10 underlines Xenophon's basic point - the king values warfare (5-7) and agriculture (8) - by commenting on offices exercised under the satrap's general duty of care (11), so phrourarchos denotes a generic commander of phrouroi (people guarding the satrapy in whatever capacity), just as the civil archon is a generic official; the principle of separation applies in many differing circumstances, and since the satrap here exercises "oversight" (not "authority") the generic phrourarchs can include people who "obey only the king" (cf. Xen. Cyr. 8,6,1). So, Oec. 4,5-11 is consistent with Klinkott's (accurate) reading of Cyr. l.c. and the chart on p. 292 is wrong.

Religious authority: p. 142 (adducing an irrelevant note in Matthew W. Stolper's "Entrepreneurs and Empire", Istanbul 1985) says of Gubaru (II) that priests asked his help "bei der Strafverfolgung und Verurteilung von Tempelräubern". This actually refers to Gubaru (I) in BM 61522, and seems inconsistent with Klinkott's view thereof at p. 262, viz. that the temple-authorities reported their investigations to Gubaru and there was no question of Gubaru providing a definitive judgment.

Changing satrapies: Two unreconciled views of Babylon and Ebir Nari appear: (a) they formed a single satrapy until at least 486 (though with no demonstrable split until the later 5th century B.C.), and Tattenai was a subordinate Ebir Nari official (pp. 454, 456f.); (b) they were temporarily split during 515-503, with Tattenai as satrap of Ebir Nari (p. 429). Moreover Klinkott's assumption that the original Babylon/Ebir Nari satrapy was called Assyria (pp. 429, 489; cf. 117?) is made without reference to the fact that DSf (Akkadian) has "people of Ebir Nari" where DSf (Old Persian) has Athura (i.e. Assyria) and is unreflected elsewhere where one might expect it: e.g. there is no entry for "Assyrie" in the satrapy-roster (pp. 449-86). More generally, the satrapy-rosters under Cyrus, Darius I, Darius II-Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III-Darius III (pp. 489-98) include features for which discussion has not really provided justification: interested readers might consider Parthia and/or Hyrcania, Caria alias Caria-with-Lycia, and Bactria-with-Sogdia. To date separation of Elam from Babylon to Artaxerxes II's reign on the ground that Caria was satrapised then is quite arbitrary - and the assumption that it would once have been part of Babylon is decidedly arguable.

One could go on. Achaemenid specialists will consult Klinkott's book, but too much of his presentation, analysis and synthesis of data is unreliable for it to be recommendable to other categories of user. It is certainly not the dependable work of reference one might have wished for - and it is not even fully indexed.

Christopher Tuplin: Rezension zu: : Der Satrap. Ein achaimenidischer Amtsträger und seine Handlungsspielräume. Frankfurt am Main  2005 , in: H-Soz-Kult, 17.04.2006, <>.
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