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Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III

Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727 BC) reconfigured Assyrian administration to make villages responsible to the center. For this reason, he is often considered the founder of the Assyrian empire.

His strategy relied upon diplomacy, deportation and military action. When Tiglath-Pileser III conquered a village, he installed bureaucrats and military officials; these people maintained order and reported directly to him. His queen was named Yaba. Tiglath-Pileser III started a trend in Assyria of dismantling a conquered capital and replacing it with a controlled capital elsewhere (he did so when he replaced Jerusalem with Lachish).

He left behind few monuments in the Assyrian heartland, as he was too busy campaigning elsewhere. Tiglath-Pileser III secured control over rebellious areas, and stopped Urartu in the west. Tiglath-Pileser III also incorporated large parts of Syria, and defeated the Babylonians (he even stole hands from a statue of Bel). Notably, this made Tiglath-Pileser III the first Assyrian king to rule Babylonia (other than a few appointees) since Tukulti-Ninurta. Tiglath-Pileser III also managed to reach the Mediterranean and Gaza. He did not attack the Palestinians, but their great timber trade prompted him to exact tribute from them.

He was followed by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V.

relief from central palace at nimrud of assyrian king tiglath pileser iii

~728 BC relief of Tiglath-Pileser III from the Central Palace at Nimrud. British Museum. Image by L. M. Clancy.

740 BCMenahem renders tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III.
738 BC Menahem again renders tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III (2 Kings 15:10).
734 BC Ahaz pays tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III.
732 BCCampaigns of TIglath-Pileser III lead to annexation of Damascus (2 Kings 15:30, 17:1).
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