People > Tiglath-Pileser III

Tiglath-Pileser III

Background

Tiglath-Pileser III was the king of Assyria who reigned between 745 BCE and 727 BCE and ruled over the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was responsible for merging the two major kingdoms of Assyria and Babylonia.Since the days of Adad-nirari III (reigned 810–783 bc) Assyria had been politically and militarily weak, for its northern neighbour, Urartu, dominated the states controlling its principal trade routes to the Mediterranean and to the Iranian plateau. Some portions of the empire had ceased to pay the tribute required by treaties. In the spring of 745 bc a rebellion against the weak king Ashur-nirari V, a son of Adad-nirari III, brought a new ruler, who was then governor of Calah, to power. This new ruler assumed the throne name of Tiglath-pileser in what may have been a deliberate reference to an illustrious forebear, Tiglath-pileser I (reigned c. 1115–c. 1077 bc).As king, Tiglath-pileser III, an intelligent and vigorous man, acted swiftly. He rearranged territorial governorships by subdividing the larger provinces that had tended to strive for independence from the central power. Outside the immediate home territory he appointed Assyrian officials to be directly responsible to him as well as to support their local ruler.By 738 there were 80 such provinces. The Assyrians had to report directly to the king, who thus was able to check continuously on the loyalty and efficiency of all of his civil servants. They were responsible for local taxation, the storage of military supplies, and the calling up of local forces to support the new Assyrian army, now a skilled professional force compared with its predecessor, which had relied on somewhat haphazard conscription. A new intelligence system, using reports transmitted by staging posts, was also created.Military campaigns.Tiglath-pileser was thus prepared to break the stranglehold of the surrounding tribes. He first moved eastward against Zamua (modern Sulaymānīyah), then north against the Medes. Both were brought back under control of the adjacent provincial governors. The tribal lands of Puqudu, northeast of Baghdad, were joined to the Arrapkha (Kirkūk) province, thereby holding the Aramaean tribes in check.This and contiguous operations strengthened the hands of Nabonassar, the native king of Babylonia, who maintained peace until his death in 734. All this was facilitated by Tiglath-pileser’s policy of mass resettlement. Groups whose loyalty was assured, since they were now dependent on the king for protection in a foreign environment, were settled in troublesome border regions. In 742–741 alone, tens of thousands were thus resettled.Tiglath-pileser next attacked the Urartian ruler Sarduri II and his neo-Hittite and Aramaean allies, whom he defeated in 743 bc. Advance westward was, however, barred by the capital of Arpad, which had to be besieged for three years—a technique now feasible to a standing army. The victory in 741 was far-reaching, as noted in the Bible (Isaiah 37:13), and was to stem the barbarian pressures from the north that, after Tiglath-pileser, were to threaten civilizations throughout the area. Tribute was brought to him at Arpad from Damascus, Tyre, Cilicia, and other cities and regions.The Assyrian king’s skill is best seen in his handling of affairs in Syria and Palestine. From an independent military headquarters he bypassed the rebels’ ringleader at Damascus, won over most coastal cities, cut off supplies of timber from Egypt, and sent a force to Ashkelon and Gaza. In 734 the border with Egypt was sealed. The tribes of Ammon, Edom, and Moab, who, with Israel, had attacked Ahaz of Judah—a vassal of Assyria—now had to pay tribute. Over the next two years Tiglath-pileser systematically broke the power of Damascus. Israel was made subject through the assassination of Pekah (Pakaha) and his replacement by a pro-Assyrian vassal Hoshea (Ausi). Galilee was made part of an adjacent province.The Assyrian sensed that these rebels were encouraged by Ukin-zer, the Chaldean chief who, in 734, had seized the throne of Babylon. Using consummate diplomacy, Tiglath-pileser sowed discord among other Aramaean tribes, one of whose chiefs he won over. His strategy now paid off. He could move the Assyrian army through areas held by loyal governors or vassals east of the Tigris. One force seized Babylon and another the rebel stronghold of Sapia. It proved a fitting culmination that in 729–728 Tiglath-pileser himself took over the throne of Babylon using his personal (or perhaps Babylonian) name of Pulu (II Kings 15:19; I Chronicles 5:26). He died soon afterward, having set Assyria on the road it was to follow to its end.

Assyrian King List

King NameYears of RuleKingdom
Eriba-Adad I1380–1353 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit I1353–1318 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-nirari1317–1308 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Arik-den-ili1307–1296 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari I1295–1264 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser I1263–1234 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta I1233–1197 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nadin-apli1196–1194 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari III1193–1188 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Enlil-kudurri-usur1187–1183 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-apal-Ekur1182–1180 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan I1179-1133 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur1333 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Mutakkil-nusku1333 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi I1133-1115 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser I1115-1076 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Asharid-apal-Ekur1076-1074 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-bel-kala1074-1056 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Eriba-Adad II1056-1054 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-Adad IV1054-1050 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal I1050-1031 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser II1031-1019 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari IV1019-1013 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-rabi II1013-972 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-resh-ishi II972-967 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser II967-935 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-Dan II935-912 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari II912-891 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Tukulti-Ninurta II891-884 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nasir-pal II884-859 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser III859-824 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shamshi-adad V824-811 BCEMiddle Assyrian Empire
Shammu-ramat811-808 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari III811-783 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmeneser IV783-773 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-dan III773-755 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-nirari V755-745 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser III745-727 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Shalmaneser V727-722 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sargon II722–705 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sennacherib705–681 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Esarhaddon681–669 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashurbanipal669–631 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-etli-ilani631-627 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shumu-lishir626 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Sin-shar-ishkun627-612 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire
Ashur-uballit II612-608 BCENeo-Assyrian Empire

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo

Warning: include(/home/humanityhistory/public_html/addons/ancientmesopotamia.org/blueprint/scripts.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/humanityhistory/public_html/addons/ancientmesopotamia.org/people/tiglath-pileser-III.php on line 51

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/humanityhistory/public_html/addons/ancientmesopotamia.org/blueprint/scripts.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/cpanel/ea-php73/root/usr/share/pear') in /home/humanityhistory/public_html/addons/ancientmesopotamia.org/people/tiglath-pileser-III.php on line 51