This is a common Iranian surname. Does anyone know the meaning?We're all in the gutter, but some of us look at the stars.
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Tags:  Satrapi
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Satrapi = Satrap, 23 governors in the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid "dynasty".
Satrap comes from Kshatriya = warrior caste in Indian civilization
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I don't know for sure but here's a quote from a blog entry about Marjane Satrapi."I think Marjane Satrapi’s surname may be derived from the satrapy system of Ancient Persia. But what is this system, you ask? Well, after Cyrus the Great had established the Persian empire through the conquest of Media, Lydia, Babylon and so forth, he needed a way of administering it. So organised them as satrapies, which were essentially provinces. These were governed by satraps who represented the king, to whom they were directly responsible. Important satrap posts – eg Babylon, Egypt, Lydia – were often given to princes. Others were given to Persian nobles, who sometimes had the position for life. Some positions became hereditary. Satraps organised the economy, justice system, the collection of taxes/tributes and military levies when needed. Regional governors were often in charge of smaller areas under the satrap of their particular province. By Darius’ time there were approximately 20 satrapies. It’s hard to say exactly as different sources provide differing lists in various times; Darius mentions 29 groups that pay tribute in the Naqsh-i Rustam Inscription."
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I think that this explanation is correct, but would add a note of caution.
The word 'satrap' is ancient Persian. The Iranians only adopted surnames in 1929 at the decree of the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, Reza Shah. This ruler wanted to eradicate the Arabic influence (via Islam) in the country and emphasise the Persian origins of the nation. One way in which this was done was to discourage surnames based on the Arabic language and encourage names harking back to ancient Persia.
Though most Iranians stuck to the mainly Arabic Muslim names, some of the rising middle classes went along with the Persian idea. Needless to say most of these names would have been meaningless as far as family origins were concerned. An example is that of of the Shah himself. His adopted surname is said to mean 'descendant of Parthians' (an ancient Iranic people).
The name Satrapi, suggesting descent from a satrap, was probably adopted to hint at high status for the family which it was impossible to prove or disprove.
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