I know the historical basis for the Book of Esther isn't exactly "there," but for the sake of argument, if someone wanted to believe it and stand by the first verse that says:
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. (Book of Esther 1:1)
is there any possible way to count provinces or sub-provinces of the Achaemenid Empire (preferably some time before Darius 1) to be 127 (or at least a way that might conceivably reach 127)? I know Herodotus listed 20 satrapies (each one with a few semi-distinct cultures or peoples), and I'm trying to figure out if there's any possible way to reconcile the biblical source with the historical one. Be it by a different way of counting, a remote possibility that we're lacking proper historical information from the time, or anything else. (I lack sufficient knowledge of the region and time as well as knowledge of what we might not know for that matter, so I'm reaching out here.) For the flip side, see my question here on the Judaism Stack Exchange (link).
EDIT: The province of Elam where Shushan/Susa was is known by that name elsewhere in the Bible, so that makes it more doubtful that there was a different way of counting provinces. Of course Herodotus isn't the most reliable historian, but I'd guess either he didn't know about most of them or the Book of Esther was not using a factual number itself.
Relevant links: Wikipedia on the Achaemenid Empire
Map of the region (I'm a bit ignorant about this, so I would appreciate if someone could also enlighten me on how reliable and complete information that makes up maps like this might or might not be.)