Friday, November 14, 2014

Tiglath-pileser King of Assyria




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



P. 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:], 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. ….


P. 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).

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