TIGLATH-PILESER (Ass. Tukulti-pal-E-sarra, "my confidence is the son of E-sarra," i.e. the god In-Aristi), the name of several Assyrian kings. The numbering of these kings is not certain.
Tiglath-Pileser I., the son of Assur-ris-isi, ascended the throne c. 1120 B.C., and was one of the greatest of Assyrian conquerors. His first campaign was against the Moschi who had occupied certain Assyrian districts on the Upper Euphrates; then he overran Commagene and eastern Cappadocia, and drove the Hittites from the Assyrian province of Subarti north-east of Malatia. In subsequent campaign the Assyrian forces penetrated into the Kurdish mountains south of Lake Van and then turned westward, Malatia submitting to the invader. In his fifth year Tiglath-Pileser attacked Comana in Cappadocia, and placed a record of his victories engraved on copper plates in a fortress he built to secure his Cilician conquests. The Aramaeans of north Syria were the next to be attacked, and he thrice made his way as far as the sources of the Tigris. The command of the high, road to the Mediterranean was secured by the possession of the Hittite town of Pethor at the junction of the 3 Euphrates and Sajur, and at Arvad he received presents, including a crocodile, from the Egyptian king, and, embarking in a ship, killed a dolphin in the sea. He was passionately fond of the chase and was also a great builder, the restoration of the temple of Assur and Hadad at Assur (q.v.) being one of his works.
Tiglath-Pileser II. or III., son of Hadad-nirari II., appears to have reigned from about 950 to 930 B.C., but nothing is known about him.
Tiglath-Pileser III. or IV., was a successful general who usurped the Assyrian throne on the 13th of Iyyar 745 B.C., after the fall of the older dynasty, and changed his name of Pulu (Pul) to that of the famous conqueror of earlier times. In Babylonia, however, he continued to be known as Pulu. He was a man of great ability, both military and administrative, and initiated a new system of policy in Assyria which he aimed at making the head of a centralized empire, bound together by a bureaucracy who derived their power from the king. The empire was supported by a standing army and an elaborate system of finance. The first task of Tiglath-Pileser was to reduce the Aramaean tribes to order, and so win the gratitude of the Babylonian priests. Then he struck terror into the wild tribes on the eastern frontiers of the kingdom by a campaign which extended into the remotest parts of Media. Next came the defeat of a northern coalition headed by Sar-duris of Ararat, no fewer than 72,950 of the enemy being captured along with, the city of Arpad, where the Assyrian king received the homage of various Syrian princes. Arpad revolted soon afterwards, but after a siege' was taken in 740 B.C. The following year Azariahof judah appears among the enemies of Tiglath-Pileser, who had overthrown his Hamathite allies and annexed the nineteen districts of Hamath. The conquered populations were now transported to distant parts of the-empire, In 737 B.C. Tiglath-Pileser again marched into Media, and in 735 he invaded Ararat and wasted the country round the capital Van to a distance of 450 miles. In 734 B.C. he was called to the help of Yahu-khazi (Ahaz) of Judah, who had been attacked by Pekah of Israel and Rezon (Rasun) of Damascus. Rezon, defeated in battle, fled to his capital which was at once invested by the Assyrians, while with another portion of his army Tiglath-Pileser ravaged Syria and overran the kingdom of Samaria. Ammon, Moab, Edom and the queen of Sheba sent tribute, and Teima in northern Arabia was captured by the Assyrian troops. In 732 B.C. Damascus fell; Rezon was put to death, and an Assyrian satrap appointed in his stead. Tyre also was made tributary. The next year Tiglath-Pileser entered Babylonia, but it was not until 729 B.C. that the Chaldaean prince Ukin-zer (Chinzirus) was driven from Babylon and Tiglath-Pileser acknowledged as its legitimate ruler. In the early part of Tebet 727 B.C. he died, after having built two palaces, one at Nineveh, the other at Calah.