It was the theoretical eastern limit of the Jewish kingdom; for a long time it separated Assyria from the Khita or Hittites; it divided the eastern from the western satrapies of Persia (Ezra iv.
Under the name of Mouru this place is mentioned with Bakhdi (Balkh) in the geography of the Zend-Avesta (Vendidad, ed Spiegel, 1852-1863), which dates probably from at least 1200 B.C. Under the name of Margu it occurs in the cuneiform (Behistun) inscriptions of the Persian monarch Darius Hystaspis, where it is referred to as forming part of one of the satrapies of the ancient Persian Empire.
Cyrus the Great divided his empire into provinces; a definitive organization was given by Darius, who established twenty great satrapies and fixed their tribute (Herodot.
Long before the Christian era the satrapies of Darius com.prehended roughly an immense range of territory, from the Mediterranean to the Indus and, from the Caucasian chain and Jaxartes to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Ocean.
The effect of these extraordinary changes, then, was the carrying out of Napoleonic satrapies in the north and centre of Italy in a way utterly inconsistent with the treaty of Luneville; and the weakness with which the courts of London and Vienna looked on at these singular events confirmed Bonaparte in the belief that he could do what he would with neighbouring states.
Mentor became general of the maritime provinces, suppressed the rebels, and sent Greek mercenaries to the king, while Bagoas administered the upper satrapies and gained such power that he was the real master of the kingdom (Diod.