Tiglath Pileser III

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Definition

Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 BCE) was among the most powerful kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and, according to many scholars, the founder of the empire (as opposed to the claims for Adad Nirari II (912-891 BCE) or Ashurnasirpal II (884-859 BCE) as founder). His birth name was Pulu (or Pul, as he is called in the biblical books of I Kings and I Chronicles). His assumed name, Tiglath Pileser III, is the Hebrew version of the Akkadian Tukulti-Apil-Esara and was chosen to link himself directly to great kings of the past, such as Tiglath Pileser I. He took the throne in a palace coup and was not of the royal line, although it seems he was of royal blood. Prior to his rise to power, the Assyrian Empire had been languishing under kings like Ashur Dan III and Ashur Nirari V, and the regional rulers had acquired enough power to act autonomously. Following his coup, Tiglath Pileser re-organized the government, curtailed the power of the provincial rulers, re-structured the military, and revitalized the empire. Under his reign, the Assyrian Empire expanded and populations were forcibly re-located throughout the region to maximize the efficiency of the communities and discourage revolt. He was an adept administrator and is regularly regarded as one of the greatest military leaders in history.

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