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Ancient Jewish History: Revival of the Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser

(745 - 730 BCE)

The Assyrian Empire was once a mighty power. The empire thrived for a few hundred years, before declining around 1200 B.C.E.. Starting in the year 745 B.C.E., the Assyrian Empire began to revive behind the leadership of Tiglath-Pileser.

Tiglath-Pileser began by marching his army into Babylon in 745. He then attacked all the tribes around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, including the Chaldeans, Arabs, and Arameans. In the year 744, Tiglath-Pileser attacked the Persians and conquered many of their tribes. After doing so, he returned to Assyria with 50000 prisoners, as well as a large number of horses, oxen, sheep, and other animals. In the year 743, Tiglath-Pileser conquered the army of Sardari and captured 73,000 soldiers. He then proceeded to enter the Syrian city of Arpad, where all the kings of Upper Syria paid him tribute because of his power.

In the year 735, Tiglath-Pileser marched his army into Ararat and conquered it. Also during that year, Syria and Israel formed an alliance and attacked Judah. Ahaz, the king of Judah, sent messengers to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, carrying tribute and asking Tiglath-Pileser for his help against Syria and Israel. Tiglath-Pileser accepted his offer and in the year 734, he marched his army into Syria and found the army of Rezon, a Syrian king, waiting for him. Tiglath-Pileser completely annihilated this army and laid siege to Damascus. He left part of his army at Damascus to continue the siege, and set out with the rest to attack Israel. He plundered Israel and the Israelite king, Pekah, took refuge in Samaria. He also conquered the Ammonites and the Moabites, and placed them under tribute. Tiglath-Pileser then marched toward Gaza. When the king of Gaza, Hanun, heard this, he fled to Egypt. Tiglath-Pileser occupied Gaza, but eventually allowed Hanun to return, and placed him under tribute. Also in the year 734, he conquered many of the Arab tribes under Queen Samsi’s rule.

In the year 732, the siege of Damascus was completed. Damascus now was in Assyrian hands. After Damascus fell, Tiglath-Pileser invaded Babylon again. In the year 730, Assyria was the undisputed power in the Middle East.


Rawlinson, G. The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, (Chicago, New York, Belford, Clarke, and Co. 1887).

Rogers, R.W. A History of Babylonia and Assyria, (New York, Eaton and Mains, 1900).

Edited, Researched and Written by: Andrew Taylor, [email protected], October 6, 1998

Sources: WebChronology Project; article written by Andrew Taylor, all rights reserved.