A governor of an ancient Persian province was called a satrap. These areas ruled by satraps were called "satrapies."
The Persian emperor Cyrus the Great first chose satraps to rule individual provinces, around 530 BCE. Each satrap controlled a specific amount of land, collecting taxes and maintaining law and order. The word satrap continued to be used in various places, including India and East Asia, to refer to local rulers. The word comes from the Latin satrapes, with the Old Persian root xšathrapavan, "guardian of the realm," from xšathra-, "realm," and pavan-, "guardian."