Tiglath-pileser King of Assyria

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by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

The following section on the necessary folding of Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian history – king Tiglath-pileser I identified with Tiglath-pileser III – is taken from Volume 1 of my postgraduate university thesis:

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

http://hdl.handle.net/2123/5973

 

  1. ix

….

Now, moving on down to king Hezekiah’s own century, my restructuring and shortening of C8th BC neo-Assyrian history in connection with Hezekiah in Part II, Chapter 6, by controversially identifying Sargon II with Sennacherib [for more, see: Assyrian King Sargon II, Otherwise Known As Sennacherib, which can be read at:  http://www.academia.edu/6708474/Assyrian_King_Sargon_II_Otherwise_Known_As_Sennacherib], will be an original contribution, though undoubtedly much assisted by those who have argued for a more significant than generally accepted period of co-regency between Sargon II and Sennacherib. I am particularly indebted to Eric Aitchison in this regard. This basis (Sargon = Sennacherib), allied to the recognition of a necessary ‘folding’ of ‘Middle’ and ‘Neo’ Babylonian history, will enable for me to arrive at the radical conclusion that the so-called ‘Middle’ Babylonian king, Nebuchednezzar I, was in fact this composite neo-Assyrian monarch (Sargon/Sennacherib) in the latter’s guise as ruler of Babylon (Chapter 7).

Any such proposed syncretism, however, between a ‘Middle’ and a ‘Neo’ dynasty Assyro-Babylonian king would have been inconceivable had not Velikovsky, and others, insisted upon the need for a merging of these two phases of Mesopotamian history. And the same general comment applies to my proposed merging, still in Chapter 7, of Tiglathpileser I with Tiglath-pileser III, as being the one king of Assyria. Though, in this specific case, I am indebted to Emmet Sweeney for his having argued this identification and for his having also provided a series of useful comparisons in support of it. And that comment applies yet again in the case of my identifying the ‘Middle’ Babylonian king, Merodach-baladan I, with Merodach-baladan II, the latter being the king of Babylon (a late contemporary of Tiglath-pileser III) who would become allied to Hezekiah against Assyria, and who will become especially significant in VOLUME TWO of this thesis. ….

  1. 7

What will greatly supplement all of this, however, will be the chronological merging of the so-called ‘Middle’ Assyrian history into the ‘Neo’ Assyrian period; a consequence of Velikovsky’s lowering on the timescale by about 500 years [henceforth VLTF] of what is conventionally late 2nd millennium BC history, approximately, into the early 1st millennium BC. A significant consequence of VLTF, when applied to the early part of Hezekiah’s reign, will be that the ‘Middle’ Assyrian king, Tiglath-pileser I, will now merge with his namesake – who I believe to be his alter ego – Tiglath-pileser III. ….

Pp. 181-183

We saw in our discussion of Assyrian history in Chapter 6 that Tiglath-pileser I stands out amidst a most poorly documented age of so-called ‘Middle’ Assyrian history that James has called a ‘Dark Age’. I suspect the reason for this is that the documents for this period are actually to be found in neo-Assyrian history. That:

Tiglath-pileser [I], son of Ashur-resh-ishi, grandson of Ashur-dan, is none other than

Tiglath-pileser [III], son of Ashur-nirari (var. Adad-nirari), grandson of Ashur-dan,

a contemporary of both Merodach-baladan II – in the latter’s early days – and of king Hezekiah of Judah.

Common to Tiglath-pileser I/III were a love of building (especially in honour of Assur) and hunting, and many conquests, for example: the Aramaeans, with frequent raids across the Euphrates; the Hittites (with the possibility of a common foe, Ini-Tešub); Palestine; to the Mediterranean; the central Zagros tribes; Lake Van, Nairi and Armenia (Urartu); the conquest of Babylon. Just to name a few of the many similarities. I think that historians really repeat themselves when discussing these presumably ‘two’ Assyrian ‘kings’. Consider this amazing case of repetition, as I see it, from [S.] Lloyd [Ancient Turkey. A Traveller’s History of Anatolia, British Museum Publications, 1989, pp. 68-69]:

The earliest Assyrian references to the Mushki [Phrygians] suggest that their eastward thrust into the Taurus and towards the Euphrates had already become a menace. In about 1100 BC Tiglath-Pileser I defeats a coalition of ‘five Mushkian kings’ and brings back six thousand prisoners. In the ninth century the Mushki are again [sic] defeated by Ashurnasirpal II, while Shalmaneser III finds himself in conflict with Tabal …. But when, in the following century, Tiglath-pileser III once more records a confrontation with ‘five Tabalian kings’, the spelling of their names reveals the fact that these are no sort of Phrygians [sic], but a semiindigenous Luwian-speaking people, who must have survived the fall of the Hittite Empire.

I think that we should now be on safe grounds in presuming that the ‘five Mushkian kings’ and the ‘five Tabalian kings’ referred to above by Lloyd as having been defeated by Tiglath-pileser I/III – but presumably separated in time by more than 3 centuries – were in fact the very same five kings.

To Tiglath-pileser I there is accredited a reign length of about 38 years, which is significantly longer than the 17 years normally attributed to Tiglath-pileser III. However, in Chapter 11 (pp. 356-357) we shall learn that Tiglath-pileser III was extremely active for at least two decades before he actually even became the primary ruler of Assyria.

After Tiglath-pileser [I] had sacked the city of Babylon, he placed on the throne there one Adad-apla-iddina (c.1067-1046 BC, conventional dates), generally thought to have been amongst Aramaean newcomers at the time [J. Brinkman, 1968, A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia, 1158-722 B.C., Analecta Orientalia 43, Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, Roma, p. 92]:

… Adad-apla-iddina …. During his reign, the Arameans and Sutians living along the Euphrates irrupted into the land … fomenting trouble in Babylon itself. Relations between the Assyrian and Babylonian kings remained friendly for the most part during this period of changing regimes in the south. Though Assyria may have assisted Adad-apla-iddina in gaining the throne, he paid the northern country back by later interfering in the Assyrian royal succession.

This Adad-apla-iddina has several notable likenesses now to our composite king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan I/II. Firstly, he came to power in Babylon during the reign of a Tiglath-pileser.

Secondly, though established by the ‘Assyrians’, he tended to bite the hand that fed him.

Thirdly, the name Adad-apla-iddina (var. Rimmon-bal-iddina) … is of identical construct to Marduk-apla-iddina (Merodach-baladan), though with the Assyrian theophoric in the former case substituted for the Babylonian theophoric in the latter: our ADP principle.

Brinkman’s account of Adad-apla-iddina above could perhaps even be a plausible explanation of how Merodach-baladan I/II actually came to power in Babylon: namely, with the assistance of Tiglath-pileser. And his having ‘Assyrian’ support would account for how he managed to survive for so long. Though, all the time, this wily king of Babylon apparently had his own agenda that would eventually bring about his ruin at the hands of his ‘Assyrian’ benefactors.

John Salverda: You may just as well throw in Tiglath-pileser II as well. He was the son of another Ashur-resh-ishi (II), the contemporary of another Jeroboam (I) and the father of another Ashur-Dan (II).

 

I have long held a theory that Tiglath-pileser III was a son, or the brother by a different mother, (He was not born to Semiramis. Therefore he was out of favor, and resentfully so, biding his time until he was quite old.) of Adad-nirari (Ninus), the father of the three successive kings Ashur-nirari V, Shalmaneser IV, and…

I have long held a theory that Tiglath-pileser III was a son, or the brother by a different mother, (He was not born to Semiramis. Therefore he was out of favor, and resentfully so, biding his time until he was quite old.) of Adad-nirari (Ninus), the father of the three successive kings Ashur-nirari V, Shalmaneser IV, and Ashur-dan III. He survived all three before he made his move toward the kingship, during a massive natural disaster (the “earthquake” of Uzziah). Once the old royal general was installed his exploits against the Phrygians as a general during the years when his three half brothers (or perhaps they were his nephews) were sovereign, may have been rewritten as his own “royal” accomplishments and, are currently misunderstood to be the deeds of another king, who was thought to have lived 500 years earlier. One obvious discrepancy is the fact that the Phrygians can’t be accounted for archaeologically before the 8th century BC.

Interesting as always, John. But you may be making of TP III a very aged man if he was already old at the time of king Uzziah of Judah and reigned on down to, perhaps, early king Hezekiah. Certainly I would date TP III as late as Hezekiah since I have identified him with the much hated (by Sargon) Shalmaneser, given tha…

Interesting as always, John. But you may be making of TP III a very aged man if he was already old at the time of king Uzziah of Judah and reigned on down to, perhaps, early king Hezekiah. Certainly I would date TP III as late as Hezekiah since I have identified him with the much hated (by Sargon) Shalmaneser, given that the Book of Tobit identifies the exile of the Galilean tribes (considered to have been the work of TP III) with “Shalmaneser”. The latter is then succeeded by Sennacherib, according to Tobit. No mention of Sargon – which supports my other view that Sargon II was Sennacherib.

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Yes, I figure Tiglath Pileser to have been about 85 yrs old (certainly not an impossible age to have achieved) when he died in about 727 BC, a little more than a year before Ahaz (I had imagined that the youthful Ahaz was overawed and was being overly respectful of the senior status and majesty of the King in the meeting …

Yes, I figure Tiglath Pileser to have been about 85 yrs old (certainly not an impossible age to have achieved) when he died in about 727 BC, a little more than a year before Ahaz (I had imagined that the youthful Ahaz was overawed and was being overly respectful of the senior status and majesty of the King in the meeting where the elder Assyrian patriarch’s throne was copied for the use and enhancement of the royal trappings of the upstart Ahaz) placing his birth year at about 812 BC.

“Ahaz who was irresolute and impressible yielded readily to the glamour and prestige of the Assyrians in religion as well as in politics In 732 he went to Damascus to swear homage to Tiglath Pileser and his gods and taking a fancy to an altar which he saw there he had one like it made in Jerusalem which with a corresponding change in ritual he made a permanent feature of the Temple worship Changes were also made in the arrangements and furniture of the Temple because of the king of Assyria II Kings xvi 18 Furthermore Ahaz fitted up an astrological observatory with accompanying sacrifices after the fashion of the ruling people In other ways Ahaz lowered the character of the national worship It is recorded that he even offered his son by fire to Moloch” (From “The Jewish Encyclopedia”).

Tiglath-Pileser III described himself as a son of Adad-nirari in his inscriptions, but it is uncertain if this is truthful. (If he was the son of Adad-nirari and, sired in the last year of that King’s life, he could, I suppose, have been as young as 55 when he died.)

I’m not sure where I got the notion that he may have been the son of Shamshi-adad (I was under a possibly mistaken belief that one of the previous iterations of Tiglath or Tukulti had claimed to be the son of an earlier Shamshi-adad)

Adad-nirari (Ninus, son of Belus according to the Greeks) 811 to 783 BC. was a son and successor of king Shamshi-Adad V, and was apparently quite young at the time of his accession, because for the first five years of his reign, his mother Shammuramat (Semiramis) some have postulated that his mother acted as regent, He was the father of the three successive kings Shalmaneser IV 783–773 BC, Ashur-dan III 772–755 BC, and Ashur-nirari V 755–745 BC.

I had speculated (for what it is worth) that he patiently waited for about 35 years playing second fiddle and faithfully serving the three brothers (his own half brothers, or perhaps his nephews) before making his move for the throne during the last few years of Ashur-nirari’s rule. I supposed that during this time the exploits of his campaigns in Asia Minor were recorded and that these accounts, kept separate from his later royal feats, became the source material for the chronicles of his supposedly more ancient alter-ego. I once spent a lot of time and effort looking into the matter, but not so much anymore Thanks for rekindling an old flame with this subject.

Based on Mackenzie’s (see below) observation that a highly idiosyncratic form of worship, reminiscent of Atonism, had occurred in Mesopotamia at the time of Queen Sammuramat (Semiramis) and Adad-nirari III, I have been inclined to synchronise the two, as I wrote:

“My tentative identification of Queen Semiramis of Egypt…

Based on Mackenzie’s (see below) observation that a highly idiosyncratic form of worship, reminiscent of Atonism, had occurred in Mesopotamia at the time of Queen Sammuramat (Semiramis) and Adad-nirari III, I have been inclined to synchronise the two, as I wrote:

“My tentative identification of Queen Semiramis of Egypt and Babylon with Queen Tiy/ Nefertiti (= biblical Jezebel) seems to find support in the fact that Donald A. Mackenzie, in Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, has identified a similar régime to Akhnaton’s quite unique one in Assyro-Babylonia at the time of Adad-nirari III (or IV: Mackenzie), with the legendary Queen Sammuramat (or Semiramis) then having unique power for a woman – likened (once more, as in the case of the Jezebel seal which has Queen Tiy like symbols) by Mackenzie to the powerful Queen Tiy. The god Nebo whom the ‘Assyrian’ pair worshipped almost exclusively may here substitute for El-Amarna’s Aton god. This now gives me added confidence that the legendary Queen Sammuramat/ Semiramis was Nefertiti/Tiy (= Jezebel) under her guise as a queen of Mesopotamia. This means that her son, Adad-nirari III (and Mackenzie comes close to Velikovsky’s view of royal mother and wife: “Sammurammat may therefore have been his mother. She could have been called his “wife” in the mythological sense, the king having become “husband of his mother”.”), was Akhnaton himself. A strange king, indeed, this Akhnaton!”

Does this add anything at all to the Ninus and Semiramis legend as you see it?

 

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