This Assyrian ruler was known in the Bible as Pul, and to the Babylonians as Pulu. Ascending to the throne of Assyria in 745 BCE, it was a matter of only months until the new ruler Tiglath-Pilesar III had an eye toward conquest. His first prey was Babylon, the main rival in the region. The defeat of Babylon ushered in a period when Assyria was undisputed ruler in the area. Israel and Syria among others fell under the might of the Assyrians. Tiglath-Pilesar pushed as far south as Gaza as well as conquering Damascus.

The conquered lands were required to pay tribute to their overlords. Conflict arose when the Assyrians brought their power to bear on subject lands who failed to pay their tribute. Israel felt the sting of the Assyrians again for failing to pay their tribute.

The Assyrians were renowned for their extreme cruelty. They were not content to simply defeat their enemies but practiced torture upon them as well. They sometimes skinned their foes or impaled them on stakes. Decapitation was also a favorite method of dealing with defeated enemies.

In their prime the Assyrians were very skilled at attacking walled and fortified cities. They used battering rams and siege towers to assail the walls. In the field they used horses for cavalry as well as to pull swift 2-wheeled chariots.

The rule of Tiglath-Pilesar endured until 727 BCE. Upon his death he was succeeded by his son Shalmaneser V (726-721 BCE).

Eventually the Assyrian kingdom weakened and was overthrown by a coalition of Babylon and the Medes.


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