Text #8868"Tiglath-Pileser III ", in .
Tiglath-Pileser III ruled Assyrian 745–727 BC. He introduced advanced civil, military, and political systems into the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
Tiglath-Pileser III seized the Assyrian throne during a civil war and killed the royal family. He made sweeping changes to the Assyrian government, considerably improving its efficiency and security. The Assyrian army, already the greatest fighting force in the world since the time of Ashur-uballit I (1366–1330 BCE), now became the world’s first professional standing army. He is one of the greatest military commanders in world history, conquering most of the world known to the Assyrians before his death.
Tiglath-Pileser III subjugated: his fellow Mesopotamians in Babylonia and Chaldea, the Arabs, Magan, Meluhha, and Dilmunites of the Arabian Peninsula; Israel, Judah, Philistia, Samarra, Moab, Edom, the Suteans and Nabatea; Urartu, Armenia and Scythia in the Caucasus Mountains, Cimmeria by the Black Sea, and Nairi; much of eastern and south western Asia Minor, including the Hittites, Phrygia, Cilicia, Commagene, Tabal, Corduene and Caria; the Greeks of Cyprus and Aram (modern Syria), and the Mediterranean City States of Phoenicia/Caanan were subjugated. To the east he subjugated Persia, Media, Gutium, Mannea, Cissia and Elam, and later in his reign, Tiglath-Pileser III was crowned king in Babylonia.
Tiglath-Pileser III discouraged revolts against Assyrian rule with the use of forced deportations of thousands of people all over the empire.
A mutilated brick inscription states that he is the son of Adad-nirari (III); however, the Assyrian King List makes Tiglath-pileser (III) the son of Ahur-nirari (V), son of Adad-nirari (III). This is quite a discrepancy for the King list places Adad-nirari III four monarchs before Tiglath-pileser’s reign and depicts Ashur-nirari (V) as both his father and immediate predecessor upon the throne. The list goes on to relate that Shalmaneser III (IV), and Ashur-dan III (III) were brothers, being the sons of Adad-nirari (III). Ashur-nirari (V) is also said to be a son of Adad-nirari (III), implying brotherhood with Shalmaneser III (IV), and Ashur-dan III (III). The Assyrian records contain very little information concerning Adad-nirari (III) and nothing about Shalmaneser III (IV) or Ashur-dan III (III). Significantly, an alabaster stele was discovered in 1894 at Tell Abta displaying the name Tiglath-pileser imprinted over that of Shalmaneser (IV), a successor of Adad-Nirari (III) and the third sovereign prior to Tiglath-pileser (III). This find coupled with the aforementioned absence of information relative to Shalmaneser III (IV) and Ashur-dan III (III) strongly implies that Tiglath-pileser was a usurpur to the throne and that he destroyed the records of his three immediate predeccessors—Ashur-nirari (V), Shalmaneser III (IV), and Ashur-dan III (III).1
His earliest inscriptions give regular mention of appointing eunuchs as governors of (newly conquered) provinces; this removed the threat of provincial rule becoming a dynastic matter. He also reduced the power of his officials by reducing the size of the provinces or, in other cases, provinces were increased to include newly conquered territories, thus decreasing their resources, should they have desired to incite a revolt. Subsequently, there were more provinces, more governors (most of which were eunuchs), and less power per governor.2
The second reform targeted the army. Instead of a largely native Assyrian army which normally campaigned only in the summer time, Tiglath-Pileser incorporated large numbers of conquered people into the army, thus adding a substantial foreign element. This force mainly comprised the light infantry, whereas the native Assyrians comprised the cavalry, heavy infantry, and charioteers. As a result of Tiglath-Pileser’s military reforms, the Assyrian Empire was armed with a greatly expanded army which could campaign throughout the year. The addition of the cavalry and the chariot contingents to the army was mostly due to the steppe cultures lurking nearby to the north, which sometimes invaded their northern colonies, using mainly cavalry and primitive chariots.3
Nolen Jones, Dr. Floyd. Chronology of the Old Testament. Master Books. p. 150. ↩
Saggs, H. The Might that was Assyria (London, 1984). ↩
Yehuda Kaplan, “Recruitment of Foreign Soldiers into the Neo-Assyrian Army during the Reign of Tiglath-pileser III,” in Mordechai Cogan and Dan`el Kahn (eds), Treasures on Camels’ Humps: Historical and Literary Studies from the Ancient Near East Presented to Israel Eph’al (Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 2008) ↩