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A MARVELOUS change in Assyria was wrought by the rebellion of 746 BC. Before it there reigned the last king of a dynasty which had made the kingdom great and its name feared from east to west. A degenerate son of a distinguished line was he, and the power which had swept with a force almost resistless over mountain and valley was a useless thing in his hands. He remained in his royal city while the fairest provinces were taken away and added to the kingdom of Urartu, and while others boldly refused to pay tribute and defied his waning army.

After 746 BC the Assyrian throne is occupied by a man whose very name before that time is so obscure and unworthy as to be discarded by its owner. We do not know the origin of this strange man, for in the pride of later years he never mentioned either father or mother, who were probably humble folk not dwelling in kings' houses. He was perhaps an army commander; an officer who had led some part of the greatest standing army that the world had then known. He may also have held a civil post as governor of some province or district. In his career that was now to begin he displayed both military and civil ability of such high order that we are almost driven to believe that he had been schooled by experience in both branches of effort. His reign was not very long, so that he probably gained the throne comparatively late in life, at a time when the power of adaptation is less strong than in youth, when the year of a man's life are devoted rather to the display of powers already acquired than to the development of new ones. We do not know whether he set on foot the rebellion which dethroned Asshur Nirari II or merely turned to his own purposes an uprising brought about by others. In either case he acted with decision, for he was crowned king in 745, the next year after the rebellion. He was well known as a man of resources and of severity, for no rebellion against him arose, and no pretender dared attempt to drive him from power. He spent no time in marching through the land to overawe possible opponents, but at once began operations outside the boundaries of the old kingdom. That he should dare to leave his capital and his country immediately after his proclamation shows how sure he was of his own ability, and how confident that his personal popularity or his reputation for severe discipline would maintain the peace. Whatever the name of his youth and manhood may have been he was proclaimed under the name and style of Tiglath Pileser, adopting as his own the name which had been made famous by the great Assyrian conqueror, whom he emulated in the number and success of his campaigns, and greatly surpassed in the permanency of the results obtained. The name of Tiglath Pileser would undoubtedly strengthen him in the popular mind; for it is beyond question that in a land like Assyria, in which writing, even in the earliest times, was so constantly practiced, some acquaintance with the history of their kings was diffused among even the common people. He was plainly not a descendant of the kings who preceded him, or he would certainly have followed the usual custom of Assyrian kings and set down the names of his ancestors with all their titles. He alludes indeed to "the kings, my fathers," but this is a boast without meaning when unaccompanied by the names.

There is another proof of his humble origin to be found in the contemptuous treatment of his monumental inscriptions by a later king. Tiglath Pileser restored, for his occupancy, the great palace erected by Shalmaneser II in Calah. Upon the walls of its great rooms he set up slabs of stone upon which were beautifully engraved inscriptions recounting the campaigns of his reign. When Esarhaddon came to build his palace he stripped from the walls these great slabs of Tiglath Pileser that he might use them for his own inscriptions. He caused his workmen to plane off their edges, so destroying both beginning and ending of some inscriptions, and purposed then to have his own records carved upon them. He died without entirely completing his purpose, or we should have been left almost without annalistic accounts of the events of the reign of Tiglath Pileser. Such treatment as this was never given to any royal inscriptions before, and we may justly see in it a slight upon the memory of the great plebeian king.

Were it not for the vandalism of the king Esarhaddon we should be admirably supplied with historical material for the reign of Tiglath Pileser. He left behind him no less than three distinct classes of inscriptions. Of these the first class consist of the stone inscriptions, in which the events of the reign are narrated in chronological order. These, the most important of his inscriptions, are in a bad state of preservation through the mutilations of Esarhaddon. The second class of the inscriptions, written upon clay, give accounts of the king's campaigns grouped in geographical order; while the third class, also on clay, give mere lists of the countries conquered without details of any kind. If all this abundant material had been as carefully preserved as the inscriptions of Asshur­nazirpal, we should be able to present a clear view of the entire reign. As it is, questions of order sometimes arise which render difficult the setting forth of a consecutive narrative.

It was in the month of Airu 745 BC that Tiglath Pileser III (745-727) ascended the throne. As the year had but just begun, this was counted, contrary to the usual custom, as the first year of the reign. In the month of September he set out upon his first campaign, which was directed against Babylonia. In Babylonia there had also been dull days, while the Assyrian power was dwindling away. After Marduk Balatsu Iqbi there reigned Bau Akh Iddin, of whom later days seemed to have preserved no recollection save that he was a contemporary of Adad Nirari III. If monuments of his reign are still in existence, they are concealed in the yet unexplored mounds of his country. After him Babylonia had two, or perhaps even three, kings whose names as well as their deeds are lost to us. If there had arisen in Babylonia at that time a king such as the land had seen before, a man of action and of courage, independence might probably have been achieved without a struggle. But instead of that the kingdom fell into fresh bondage. The nomadic Aramaeans, communities of whom had given so much trouble to the Assyrians, had invaded Babylonia from the south and taken possession of important cities like Sippar and Dur Kurigalzu. So powerful and numerous were they that they threatened to engulf the country and blot out the civilization of Babylonia. After the loss of two or three names we come again upon the name of Nabu Shum Ishkun, who reigned, how long we do not know, in this period of Babylonian decline. He was succeeded in 747 by Nabu Nasir, commonly known as Nabonassar (747-734 BC). Like his predecessors, he was unable to control the Aramaeans, and when Tiglath Pileser III entered the land he was acclaimed as a deliverer. The march of the new Assyrian king southward had been a continuous victory. He moved east of the Tigris along the foothills of the mountains of Elam, conquering several nomadic tribes such as the Puqudu and the Litan. He then turned westward and attacked Sippar, overcoming its Aramaean intruders, and doing a like service to Dur Kurigalzu. He marched south as far as Nippur and there turned about. By this campaign he had so thoroughly disciplined the Aramaean invaders and overcome all discordant elements that he was able to give a new order of government and life to the state.

It is a striking commentary on the political and civil ability of this extraordinary man that he was able to begin a new order of administration for subject territory in the first year of his reign, and as a part of his first campaign. He had reconquered Babylonia as far south as Nippur, for Babylonian and Assyrian control over it had practically been lost. He was not satisfied with the payment of a heavy tribute, but reorganized the whole government of the territory. He first subdivided it into four provinces, placing Assyrian governors over them, and then built two cities as administrative centers. The first of these was called Kar Asshur, located near the Zab. The name of the second is not given in the Annals, but it was probably Dur Tukulti Apal Esharra. These were made royal residences, each being provided with a palace for the king's occupancy. The second was required to pay the great tribute of ten talents of gold and one thousand talents of silver. In each the king set up a monument, with his portrait as a sign of the dominion which he claimed, and in both people from the other conquered districts were settled. This plan of planting colonies and of transporting captives from place to place had indeed been tried on a small scale by other Assyrian kings, but it had never been adopted as a fixed and settled policy. From this time onward we shall meet with it frequently. Tiglath Pileser III consistently followed it during his whole reign, trying thereby to break down national feeling, and to sever local ties in order that the mighty empire which he founded might be in some measure homogeneous.

When the Aramaean nomads had been overcome and the land had received its new order of government, the king offered sacrifices in Sippar, Nippur, Babylon, Borsippa, and in other less important cities, to Marduk, Bel, Nabu, and other gods. It was a fruitful year. Never before had the land of Babylonia been brought into such complete subjection to Assyria. Nabonassar was a king only in name; the real monarch lived in Calah. So small indeed is his influence from the Assyrian point of view that he is not even mentioned in Tiglath Pileser's accounts of the campaign; he is simply ignored as though he was not. To such a sorry pass had come a man who was nominally king of Babylon. Yet, though thus despised by the Assyrian overlord, Nabonassar is still called king by the Babylonians, who held con­trol of the national records. In them it is still his name and not his conqueror's which stands in the honored list of Babylon's rulers.

Having thus left affairs in a safe condition in the south, Tiglath Pileser III next turned his attention to the troublesome lands east of Assyria. We have already seen how frequently the Assyrian kings had to invade their territory in order to collect the unwillingly paid tribute. The first of these lands to be invaded was Namri. The Assyrian people who lived along their own borders and hence close to Namri had suffered much from the incursions of half-barbaric hordes which swept down from the mountains and plundered their crops and other possessions. These movements in and through Namri made up a situation similar to that which Tiglath Pileser had just settled in Babylonia. The march through Namri and thence northward through Bit Zatti, Bit Abdadani, Arziah, and other districts to Nishai was marked by ruins and burning heaps. But the entire campaign was not filled with works of ruin. The districts of Bit Sumurzu and Bit Khamban were added to the territory of Assyria and received the benefits of Assyrian government. The city of Nikur, which had been destroyed in the beginning of the campaign, was entirely rebuilt and resettled with colonists brought from other conquered lands. This became, therefore, a center around which Assyrian influences might crystallize. The campaign was fruitful in definite results, as the expeditions of Asshurnazirpal, seeking only plunder, never could be. The king did not personally enter the heart of Media, but sent an army under command of Asshur Dani Nani to punish the tribes south of the Caspian Sea; but to follow its marches is beyond our present geographical knowledge. A second expedition into Media was necessary in 737, when the process of settling colonists in troublesome districts was further carried out. No such control over Indo-European inhabitants of the mountain lands of Media was, however, achieved as had been secured over the Semites of Babylonia, and Media remained practically independent and ready to give trouble to later Assyrian kings, and even to have an important share in the breaking up of the monarchy which was now harrying it.

But if Tiglath Pileser was confronted by a difficult situation in Babylonia and a more difficult one in Media, and the lands between it and Assyria, his difficulties may justly be said to have been colossal when one views the state of affairs in the north. As we have already seen, the weakness and decadence of Assyria after the reign of Shalmaneser II had given a great opportunity to Urartu, and kings of force and ability had arisen in the land to seize it. Of the kings of Urartu Argistis had taken from Assyria the hard-won lands of Dayaeni and Nirbi, and had overrun, plundering and burning, the whole great territory lying north of Assyria proper, and as far east as Palsus, east of Lake Urumiyeh.

Great though these conquests undoubtedly were, and dangerous as was the threat against Assyrian power, they were far surpassed in the reign of Sarduris II, who succeeded Argistis, while Asshur Dan III was impotently ruling in Assyria. Sarduris broke down and destroyed the whole circle of tribute-paying states dependent upon Assyria in the north. His conquests and annexations to the kingdom of Urartu or Chaldea continued in a westerly direction until he had overrun the most northern parts of Syria, comprising the territory north of the Taurus and west of the Euphrates. He even claimed the title of king of Suri—that is, of Syria. His next move was the formation of an alliance with Madill of Agusi, Sulumal of Melid, Tarkhulara of Gurgum, Kushtashpi of Kummukh, and with several other northern princes, among them probably Panammu of Samal and Pisiris of Carchemish. These princes probably did not give a willing ear to the solicitations of Sarduris II, as a neighboring friendly prince, for a defensive alliance against the encroachments of the powerful Assyrian kingdom, but were rather forced into such an alliance. Accompanied by these allies, whether of their own will or not, Sarduris marched against the west. The inscriptions which have come down to us render it exceedingly difficult to follow perfectly the movements in this campaign, but the following is the probable order and meaning of them. At about the same time of Sarduris's march westward Tiglath Pileser also invaded the west, directing his attack against the city of Arpad—the real key of the northern part of Syria. It had belonged to Assyria, as a tribute-paying state, but now actually formed part of the new kingdom of Urartu. If Tiglath Pileser could restore it to his kingdom, he would make a long step forward in the restoration of Assyrian prestige in all the west. He besieged the city and could probably have reduced it. Sarduris did not come directly to its aid, but instead threatened Assyria itself, and so forced Tiglath Pileser to raise the siege and return by forced marches. On his return he crossed the Euphrates, probably below Til Barsip, and he then turned northward. The two armies met in the southeastern part of Kummukh between Kishtan and Khalpi, and Sarduris was forced to retire. Tiglath Pileser pursued, destroying as he went the cities of Izzida, Ququ Sanshu, and Kharbisina, until he reached the Euphrates north of Amid. Here the pursuit ended, for he did not cross the river, whether because he thought his purpose fully accomplished or because his army was too weak for the venture we do not know.

The result of this conflict was overpowering, and its direct consequences are to be seen in the next three campaigns. From Sarduris the Assyrians took a great mass of spoil in camp equipage and in costly stuffs and precious metals, together with a large number of captives. In the enumeration of these trophies there is probably gross exaggeration, but there is no reason to doubt the truth of the main fact that a very great victory was won. The moral effect of it was far more important than all the gain in treasure. The allies of Sarduris at once sent presents and tribute to Tiglath Pileser, and the entire Syrian country was once more opened to Assyrian invasion without fear of opposition from Urartu. There is a curious parallel in all this to the resistance offered by Damascus and its allies to Shalmaneser II. As soon as the alliance which Ben Hadad II bad. formed lost its cohesiveness Syria was speedily ravaged by Shalmaneser? In the latter case a most promising alliance had been formed under the leadership of Sarduris. If the selfish commercial interests of the Phoenicians could have been laid aside, and if the Syrian states had once more heartily united, the Assyrians would have been easily overcome and the west saved from all immediate danger of Assyrian invasion. But these petty unions, which dissolved after the striking of one blow, were more harmful than useful. By them the Assyrians were only maddened, and their natural thirst for booty and commercial expansion increased to a passion. The cities which partici­pated in the alliances were ruthlessly destroyed. in revenge, and fertile countries laid waste.

In the next year (742 BC) Tiglath Pileser, free from all fear of interference from Urartu, under­took the reduction of Arpad. He could make no further gains in Syria until that city was overcome, for the rich cities along the Mediterranean could not be expected to fear the Assyrians and to pay tribute so long as a city smaller in size and nearer to Assyria held out against the eastern power. We know nothing of the details of the siege. It was prolonged in a most surprising fashion, for Arpad did not fall until 740. Our ignorance of the two years' siege probably spares us the knowledge of barbarous scenes, of the slaughter of helpless women and children, of the flaying of men alive, and of the impaling of others on stakes about the city walls. It is not to be supposed that a city which had so long resisted the great god Asshur and the king whom he had sent would come off lightly. The fall of Arpad was the signal for the prompt appearance before Tiglath Pileser of messengers from nearly all the neighboring states with presents of gold and silver, of ivory, and of purple robes. In the city of Arpad he received these gifts, and with them the homage of all the west, which would endure any amount of shame and ignominy, and desired only to be left alone. One state only sent no presents and offered no homage. Tutammu, king of Unqi, alone dared to resist Assyria. Unqi was at this time but a small state probably nearly coterminous with the state of Patin, between the Afrin and the Orontes. Tiglath Pileser at once invaded his country and took the capital, Kinalia, which was utterly destroyed. The defiant king was taken prisoner, and his little kingdom, provided with Assyrian governors, was made a part of the Assyrian empire which Tiglath Pileser was now forming. This little episode furnished a new point to the moral of Arpad which would not be lost on the other states of Syria.

The west had been severely punished and might be left to meditation for a time. In 739 Tiglath Pileser set out to win back to Assyria a part of the lands of Nairi which had fallen under the control of Urartu. We have no accounts of the campaign, and know only that Ulluba and Kilkhi, two districts of Nairi, were taken. These were not plundered according to the former fashion, but actually incorporated with Assyria, and provided with an Assyrian governor, who made his residence in the lately built city of Asshur Iqisha. Another campaign against the same districts was made in 736 B. C. This carried the conquests up to Mount Nal, and so to the very borders of Urartu. It is perfectly clear that both these campaigns were but preparatory to an invasion of Urartu, which was plainly already planned and soon to be attempted. These two campaigns were meant only to weaken the southern defenses of Urartu. Perhaps the king, even in 739 or in 738, would have attempted to follow up the victories which he had gained but for the breaking out of rebellions in Syria and along the Phoenician coast. The whole development of Assyrian policy with reference to Syria and Palestine is so intensely interesting for many reasons that it is unfortunate that we are left with such fragmentary lines at the very point in the Annals where the events of this important year are narrated. We must again resort to conjecture for the defining of the order of events, though the main facts are clear enough.

Among the princes and kings who formed a combination to refuse to pay Assyrian tribute and to resist its collection by force, if necessary, Azariah, or Uzziah, of Judah, seems to have been very influential, if not an actual leader, exercising a sort of hegemony over the other states of Palestine and Syria. To support him the states of Hamath, Damascus, Kummukh, Tyre, Gebal, Que, Melid, Carchemish, Samaria, and others to the total number of nineteen had banded together. It was certainly a most promising coalition. If the forces which these states were able to put into the field were brought together and beaten into warlike shape by a leader of men and a skillful soldier, there was good reason to hope for an annihilation of the army of Tiglath Pileser. There is no reason to doubt that Uzziah (Azariah) was equal to the task, colossal though it was, if he had a loyal support from his allies, and if all would make common cause against their oppressor. We can only watch and see the end of effectual opposition to Assyria through the weakness of some members of this alliance. Tiglath Pileser came west, and, passing by the countries of some of the allies, started southward into Palestine, making as though he would enter Judah and attack the ringleader, Uzziah, before the allies could effectually concentrate their forces. As soon as he entered Samaria, Menahem, the king, threw down his arms and paid to the Assyrians one thousand talents of silver as a token of his acknowledgment of subjection. We do not know all the reasons for this move. It may have been necessary in order to save the land from utter destruction if no assistance could be secured elsewhere. But it looks at this distance, and on the surface, like an act of cowardice and a betrayal of the oath of confederation. The weakness or the blundering, or both, in all these western alliances becomes more evident in every successive campaign. It might well be supposed that the dread of national extinction which had been threatened in every successive Assyrian invasion would have overcome the weakness, and long use undone the blundering. On the payment of this tribute Tiglath Pileser abandoned the attack on Judah and began to conquer, probably one by one, the districts which had joined in the union for defense. We have no full account of this overwhelming campaign. One city only, with the name of Kullani, possibly the biblical Kalneh, is specifically mentioned as being captured, though the extent of territory actually occupied was so extensive that many must have been taken. The whole country, from Unqi and Arpad on the one side and Damascus and the Lebanon on the other, and on to the Mediterranean coast, was added to Assyrian territory and provided with an Assyrian governor. In this territory the colonizing plans of Tiglath Pileser were applied on an extensive scale. Into it thirty thousand colonists were brought from the lands of Ulluba and Kilkhi, conquered in 739, while thousands were carried out of it to supply the places left vacant by the exiles. When Tiglath Pileser turned his face homeward he carried with him a heavy treasure, in which were mingled the tributes of Kushtashpi of Kummukh, Rezin of Damascus, Menahem of Samaria, Hirom of Tyre, Sibittibili of Gebal, Urikki of Que, Pisiris of Carchemish, Enilu of Hamath, Panammu of Samal, Tarkhulara of Gurgum, Sulumal of Melid, Dadilu of Kask, Uassurme of Tribal, Ushkhitti of Atun, Urballa of Tukhan, Tukhammi of Islitunda, Urimmi of Khubishna, and of Queen Zabibi of Arabia. It is a roll not of honor, but of dishonor, and Uzziah might well have been proud that his name does not appear upon it. Capacity and courage, with some national spirit and patriotism, in even a few of these might have saved the country, or at least postponed the evil day of its undoing.

While these events were happening in the west the policy of Tiglath Pileser was receiving in the east signal proofs of its wisdom. Among the Aramaeans east of the Tigris certain communities rose in rebellion against Assyria. Under the old regime such an uprising near the capital would have caused the liveliest concern. The king would have hurried home from his labors in the west and himself have quelled the rebellion. But Tiglath Pileser had provided the rudiments of a system of provincial government. We have already seen how ready he was at the very beginning of his reign to set up provincial governors with powers of administration over certain definite districts, and with force sufficient to maintain order. They were now responsible for the maintenance of the portion of the empire under their immediate control, and well they knew that they would be held to a strict accounting for their work. On the old method perhaps all that he had gained in the west would have been lost and all the work would have had to be begun again. In this instance, however, the Assyrian governors of Lullume and of Namri, at the heads of armies, invaded the rebellious district and put down the uprising with the utmost severity. When this was accomplished there was another display of colonizing activity on a colossal scale. From these turbulent districts men were deported and settled at Kinalia, the capital of Unqi, while others were settled in various parts of the new province of Syria.

In 735 the time had fully come for the effort to break down the kingdom of Urartu (Chaldea). We have seen how carefully this campaign was planned, and how Tiglath Pileser worked up to it. Unfortunately the Annals are not preserved in which the story of the campaign was told, and we must rely again upon the looser statements of his other inscriptions. With very little opposition Tiglath Pileser penetrated the country up to the gates of the capital city, Turuspa (Van). Here the people of Urartu struck a blow, but were defeated and forced to withdraw within the walls. Tiglath Pileser began a siege, but could not reduce the city because he had no navy with which to attack or blockade on the lake side, and so could not starve it into submission. It was also so well fortified on the land side that he was unable to carry it by assault. While engaged in the siege he sent an army through the country, which made its way as far as Mount Birdashu, the location of which is not known. This expedition destroyed a number of cities on the Euphrates and plundered the inhabitants.

After some ineffectual fighting about the capital Tiglath Pileser raised the siege and departed. He had not succeeded in adding the kingdom of Urartu to Assyria, but he had broken its spirit, and we hear no more of its power and defiance for some years. The gain to Tiglath Pileser by the campaign was the removing of all danger of a flank movement from the north when he was engaged in carrying out his plans in the west, where his work was still unfinished. In 734 we find him again on the shores of the Mediterranean, having probably crossed the plains of Syria near Damascus and gone straight to the coast, which he followed southward. He had no fear of an attack in the rear from Tyre and Sidon, busily absorbed in sending out their merchant ships. It appears probable that the first city attacked was Ashdod or Ekron, which was easily taken, and then Gaza was approached. The king of Gaza at this time was Hanno (Khanunu), who had no desire to meet the Assyrian conqueror, and therefore fled to Egypt, leaving the city to stand if it were attacked. He hoped to secure the help of the Egyptians in opposing the Assyrian advance. Again selfishness interfered with the placing of a stone in the way of Assyrian progress. If the Egyptians had had any wise conception of the situation in western Asia at this period, they would have seen that the very highest self-interest demanded the giving of help to the weak city of Gaza. Gaza was the last fortified city on the way to Egypt from the north. It would serve well as a place for the defense of the Egyptian borders, for who could say, after the events of the past few years, when Tiglath Pileser III would plan to attack Egypt? Indeed who could say that this man who planned so far in advance of events had not already purposed an invasion of the land of the Nile? One by one the coalitions formed against him in Syria had been broken down. A wise policy in Egypt would have aided these combinations in order to keep a buffer state, or a series of them, between Egypt and the ever-widening power of Assyria. It was too late for that. All but Judah were paying a regular tribute to Assyria. The last outpost on the coast—the city of Gaza—was now threatened. It was surely well to make a stand here, and it would probably have been easy to inspire in Judah, or even in Damascus and Hamath, the enthusiasm for another attempt against the Assyrians. But Gaza was foolishly left to its fate, and that was easy to foresee. The city was taken; its goods and its gods were taken away to Assyria. In its royal palace Tiglath Pileser set up his throne and his image in stone in token of another land added to Assyria. A native prince was appointed as a puppet king, whose chief concern must have been the collection of the heavy annual tribute for Assyria. The worship of the god Asshur was introduced along with that of the other gods native to the place. One only of the methods of Tiglath Pileser for the engrafting of a new state into his empire seems not to have been exhibited—there was no colonization. The capture of Gaza seems but a small result for the campaigns of a year, for the taking of Ashkelon and Ekron, with places like Riraba, Risisu, Galza, and Abilakka, can scarcely be counted as of much moment. In reality, however, the place was a very important outpost for Assyria. It would have been important for Egypt in the cause of defense, it was no less important for Assyria in the cause of offense, and we shall see shortly that it was thus used, and very effectively.

Tiglath Pileser had now disposed of the seacoast, and would be ready and free to attend to the reduction of the inland hill country of Palestine, which he had long been coveting. His plans had been well laid, and thus far admirably executed. He might safely have hoped for complete success as the direct result of his own prudence and skill, and without external assistance of any kind. But assistance be was to have through the tactless blundering of those who ought to have opposed him. Affairs were now in a very different state in Palestine from that in which they had been when his last attempt had been made, and Uzziah offered a manly and almost successful resistance. Uzziah had died in 736, and his son, Jotham, had ruled only two pitiful years and then left a weakened kingdom to Ahaz, who was only a boy when he ascended the throne. It would have been no difficult task for Pekah, king of Samaria, and Rezin, king of Damascus, to have shown him the need of a new alliance against Assyria.

We have paused often before over these diminishing opportunities for union against Assyria. It is well for the entire understanding of the situation that we pause again at this point. Ahaz was a weakling—of that the sequel leaves no doubt whatever; but he was also stiff-necked and unwilling to take counsel, however excellent. The wisdom of the prophet Isaiah, who was also an acute statesman, was lost on him. But in the nature of the case a man who, like him, gave little heed to the religion of Jehovah would be less likely to listen to a prophet's words than to the words of foreign kings. His introduction of the manners, customs, and worship of foreign nations shows how open he was to outside influences. Coward though he was personally, he was king of a land with great resources for defensive war, as Uzziah had sufficiently shown. The way was again open for alliances which should include at least Damascus, Israel, and Judah. But the people of Damascus and of Israel were blind to all these opportunities, and saw only an opportunity for present personal gain. Menahem was dead, or his previous experience with Tiglath Pileser might have restrained his people from folly. His son, Pekahiab, was also dead, after a reign of only two years, and a usurper, Pekah, was on the throne in Samaria. Rezin still reigned in Damascus. These two saw in the youth and inexperience of Ahaz a chance for revenge upon Judah and the enrichment of their own kingdoms. They united their forces and invaded Judah. So began the Syro-Ephraimitic war. They marched apparently south on the east side of Jordan, and first took Elath, which Uzziah had added to the kingdom of Judah, and so greatly increased its commercial prosperity. From Elath they went northward, intending to attack Jerusalem itself and overcome Judah at the very center.

The situation was a terrible one for Ahaz. He would never be able to hold out single-handed against such foes. To whom should he turn for help? There was no help in Egypt, for Egypt had not extended help to Hanno, and was now absorbed in a life-and-death struggle with Ethiopia. There was an Assyrian party at his court which urged him to lean upon Tiglath Pileser. His wisest counselor was Isaiah, but Isaiah he would not hear, and so he sent an embassy to meet Tiglath Pileser and sue for help against the Syro-Ephraimitic combination. To get the necessary gifts for the winning of favor he stripped the temple and emptied his own treasure-house. We do not know where the embassy met the Assyrian, though it was probably at some point in Syria. The gifts were presented, and Tiglath Pileser at once promised his help to Ahaz. It is a marvelous story of blindness, folly, and mismanagement on the one side and of almost fiendish wisdom and cunning on the other. All these plans of Damascus and Israel to plunder and divide Judah had played into the hands of Assyria. As soon as Tiglath Pileser offered his first threat against Damascus and Israel the two allies left Judah and went northward. The danger to Jerusalem was therefore ended for the time, but the trouble for the rest of the country was only begun. The troops of Damascus and Israel were not withdrawn from Judah in order to oppose Tiglath Pileser with united front, but each army withdrew into its own territory, there to await the pleasure of Tiglath Pileser. He decided to attack Samaria first, and in 733 the attempt was made. Tiglath Pileser came down the seacoast past the tributary states of Tyre and Sidon, and turned into the plain of Esdraelon above Carmel. His own accounts fail us at this point, but the biblical narrative fills up the gap by the statement that he took Ijon, Abel­Beth-Maaka, Janoah, Qedesh, and Razor, together with Gilead, Galilee, and the whole land of Naphtali. It might be expected that he would now attack Samaria itself and perhaps slay the king. He was relieved of this by a party of assassins who slew Pekah, and then presented Hoshea to be made king in his place and to be subject to him.

This completed the subjection of Israel, and Tiglath Pileser was now able to turn to the far greater task of overcoming Damascus. Rezin was not discomfited by the conquest of Israel, and trusted that the army of Damascus, which had so glorious a record of bravery and victory, might triumph again. He met Tiglath Pileser on the field of battle and was defeated, escaping very narrowly himself. The only thing that remained was to shut himself up in Damascus and withstand the siege if possible. He was soon beleaguered, with the most terrible devastation of the entire country about Damascus. Tiglath Pileser boasts that he destroyed at this time five hundred and ninety-one cities, whose inhabitants, numbering thousands, were carried away, with all their possessions, to Assyria. At about the same time, and very probably during the progress of the tedious siege, Tiglath Pileser sent an army into northern Arabia. A queen of Arabia, Zabibi, had paid him tribute in 738, but since then we have no hint that he received anything more. Samsi was now queen, and she refused to pay any tribute and retired before the army, attempting to entice the Assyrians into the heart of the country. When at last she was overtaken and forced to fight the Assyrians were victorious; Samsi was conquered and plundered of vast numbers of camels and oxen. An Assyrian governor was then left to watch her payment of tribute, though she was permitted to manage her own kingdom as she willed. The effect of this victory was almost magical. From nearly the entire land of Arabia even as far south as the kingdom of the Sabaeans deputations came bearing costly gifts for Tiglath Pileser. This expedition produced little of permanent value for the Assyrian empire, but was for the time, at least, a means of adding to the imperial income. At the same time tribute was received from Ashkelon, as a sign that that hardy little state desired good relations with the conqueror.

At last, about the end of 732, Damascus fell into the hands of Tiglath Pileser III, and the last hope of the west was gone. Rezin was killed by his conqueror. Tiglath Pileser sat up his throne in the city which had so long and so bravely, although with so much unwisdom, withstood him and his predecessors. Well might he make merry within its walls, and receive royal honors and imperial homage at the end of so long and bitter a struggle. Ahaz of Judah came and visited him there, paying honor to the foreign conqueror who had indeed saved him from Syria and Israel, but whose people could never rest satisfied while Judah was only a tribute-paying dependency and not actually a part of the empire. It is probable that other princes also paid him honor here, as they had done before. Tiglath Pileser had no need to invade the west again. He had carried the borders of Assyria far beyond any of his predecessors in that direction. By his colonizing methods he had begun the assimilation of divers populations into one common whole. He had extended the field of operations for Assyrian commerce all the way across Mesopotamia and Syria to the Phoenician cities. Had his people been native to the seacoast, he might have undertaken to snatch the commerce of the Mediterranean. But there was no need for that in his time. Some problems and difficulties must be left for the future to solve.

While this long series of campaigns was in progress in the west Babylonia was first peaceful and then disturbed. In one sense the Assyrian protectorate, while it oppressed the native sense of dignity and independence, was a great blessing. It delivered the people from the need of a great standing army, and gave them a sense of security without it. The reign of Nabonassar was an age of literary activity, especially manifested in the study of history and chronology, and the leisure for such study was won by Assyrian arms. In estimating the reign of Tiglath Pileser this must not be left out of the account.

With the end of the reign of Nabonassar, in 733, the period of peace abruptly closed, if, indeed, there had not been disturbances before that time. He was succeeded by his son, Nabu Nadin Zer (733-732), who was slain by a usurper, Nabu Shum Ukin, in the second year of his reign. It was at this time that Tiglath Pileser was most deeply absorbed in delicate and difficult operations in the west. It was impossible for him to leave to other hands the conduct of the siege of Damascus, or the direction of the important, though subsidiary, expeditions in Palestine and Arabia. For a season Babylonia must be left to its own resources; which offered an opportunity to the traditional enemies of Babylonia, the Chaldeans, or Aramaeans. The union of tribes made a successful attack on the country when Nabu Shum Ukin had reigned only about one month. Nabu Shum Ukin was deposed, and in his place Ukinzer, a Chaldean prince of the state of Bit Amukkani, was made king. This was in 732, and Tiglath Pileser was still in camp before Damascus. With the accession of Ukinzer, Babylonian unrest almost became a frenzy. There was a traditional hatred of the Chaldeans, and they were now masters in the land, and their hand was not light in ruling. It is therefore not surprising that the priests, who were great landed proprietors, and the wealthier classes in general, who were despoiled of property by their new and hungry rulers, should have longed for the intervention of Tiglath Pileser. Weary of the constant disturbances in the south, he decided to invade the land in 731, and make an end of the disturbances by giving to the people a new form of government with more perfect supervision. In his progress through the land lie met first with the tribe of Silani, whose king, Nabu Ushabshi, shut himself up in his capital, Sar Rabani. The Assyrians took the city and destroyed it. Nabu Ushabshi was impaled in front of it as a warning to rebels, while his wife, his children, and his gods, with fifty-five thousand people, were carried into captivity. The cities of Tarbasu and Yabullu were next utterly wasted, and thirty thousand of their inhabitants, with all their possessions, were carried away. The next victim in this bitter campaign was Zakiru, of the tribe of Shaalli, who was carried in chains to Assyria, while his whole land was laid waste as though a storm of wind and wave had passed over it.

The way was now open for an attack upon the real object of the expedition. Ukinzer had left Babylon and fled to the confines of his own tribe of Amukkani, where he shut himself up in his old capital of Sapia. If Tiglath Pileser expected him to surrender on demand, he was mistaken. Ukinzer prepared for a siege. The season was now probably late, as much time had been spent on the preliminary conquests, and there was not time to reduce the city by regular siege. Tiglath Pileser therefore contented himself for this year with destroying the palm gardens about the city, leaving not one tree standing, and with wasting all the smaller cities and villages in the environs.

While this process of pacification was going on other Chaldean princes were filled with fear lest their punishment should come next, and began to take steps to set themselves right with Tiglath Pileser. Of these Balasu (Belesys), the chief of the Dakkuri, sent gold, silver, and precious stones, as did also Nadin of Larak. But the most important of these was Merodach Baladan, of the tribe of Yakin, king of the country of the Sea Lands, close to the Persian Gulf. He had never before given any form of submission to any Assyrian king, but now came, apparently in person, to Sapia and presented an immense gift of gold, precious stones, choice woods, embroidered robes, together with cattle and sheep. Great though his submission was, the end was not yet with the family of Merodach Baladan.

In the year 730 there are no events to record, but in 729 Tiglath Pileser was again in Babylonia, and this time was able to take the stronghold of Sapia. Ukinzer was deposed, and the unrest of Babylonia was terminated. And now the plans which Tiglath Pileser must have made years before could be fully carried out. He was determined to make an end of the ruling of Babylonia by native princes and instead govern it himself directly by making himself king. He instituted festivals in the principal Babylonian cities in honor of the great gods. In Babylon he offered sacrifices to Marduk, at Borsippa to Nabu, at Kutha to Nergal; while other offerings less magnificent were made in Kish, Nippur, Ur, and Sippar. He then, in Babylon, performed the great ceremony of taking the hands of Marduk. By this act he was received as the son of the god and as the legitimate king of Babylon. On New Year's Day of the year 728 he was proclaimed king in the ancient city of Hammurabi. At Babylon he was crowned under the name of Pulu (Poros in the Ptolemaic canon), but whether he had borne this name before or had now adopted it in order that by change of name the Babylonians might be spared living under the name of Tiglath Pileser—an Assyrian conqueror—is not known to us. This move of accepting the crown of Babylon had a great advantage and an equally great disadvantage. It would act as an effectual bar to the Chaldeans, who would not dare another outbreak while the Assyrian king was king of Babylon, with his over­powering military forces in or about the city or within easy reach. On the other hand, this crowning involved a very great difficulty. It must be renewed every year; every year must the hands of Marduk be taken. This might be almost impossible, for if there was a great insurrection at any point in the king's dominions, he would have to leave the seat of war at the time appointed and hasten to Babylon for the performance of the symbolic rite. It was not possible to transfer the capital of the empire to Babylon, for the Assyrians would have felt themselves dishonored by any such plan. Tiglath Pileser must have felt sure of the stability of the empire and of the peace which he had won by the sword, or he would never have taken upon himself the burden of the crown of Babylon. In the next year, 727, he again performed the required rites and was again proclaimed king in Babylon. He had reached the very summit of the earthly magnificence of his age, and attained the goal coveted by the kings of Assyria before him. He was not only king of Sumer and Accad, but also king of Babylon.

We have no knowledge of any other important events in his reign. It was almost wholly a reign of war and conquest. We know of only one building operation, the reconstruction and improvement in Hittite style of the palace in Calah, which he occupied during most of his life, and which had been built by Shalmaneser II. In the month of Tebet of the year 727 the great king died.

It is difficult to estimate calmly and judiciously his reign or his character. He had come to the throne out of a rebellion. He found himself in possession of a small kingdom with tribute-paying dependencies, many in a state of unrest or of open rebellion. The name of Assyria had been made a dread and a terror among the nations by raids of almost unexampled butchery and destructiveness, but it was now not feared as before. Weak kings had been unable to hold together the fragile fabric which kings great in war, though not in administration, had built up. He made this small kingdom a unit, freeing it entirely from all semblance of rebellion or insurrection. He reconquered the tribute-paying countries, and then, by a master stroke of policy, but weakly attempted in certain places before, he made them integral parts of an empire. In every true sense he was the creator of the Assyrian empire out of a kingdom and a few dependencies. He made Assyria a world power, knitting province to province by unparalleled colonizing, and transforming local into imperial sentiment. No king like him even in war had arisen in Assyria before, and in organization and administration he so far excelled them all as to be beyond comparison.

In an inscription written the year before his death he sums up the record of his empire building by the declaration that he ruled from the Persian Gulf in the south to Bikni in the east, and along the sea of the setting sun unto Egypt, and exhibits the same extent of territory in the titles which he wears, for he was then king of Kishshati, king of Assyria, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Accad, king of the Four Quarters of the Earth. In him were thus united the titles which carried back the thought of man to the very earliest centers of civilization in the southland, to the kingdoms which had been made great by Gudea and Hammurabi, along with those which were linked with all the story of the north. In the face of a record like this none may grudge him the titles of "great king" and "powerful king". The usurper had far outstripped men born to the purple.

In the very month in which Tiglath Pileser III died he was succeeded by Shalmaneser IV, who, if not his son, must have been his legal heir to the succession, or the change could not have been so quickly made. No historical inscriptions of his reign have come down to us, and we have, therefore, very imperfect knowledge of its events, especially as the Eponym List, which has so often before helped us to make out the order of events in the reigns, is broken off at this place. The Babylonian Chronicle sets down in the year of his accession, that is, in 727, the destruction of a city, Shamarain or Shabarain, the biblical Sibraini, located between Hamath and Damascus. If this be true, we may well ask what had brought Shalmaneser so quickly after his succession into the western country. Unfortunately we do not possess his version of the story, and must derive our knowledge from his enemies, among whom the Hebrews have left us an explicit and convincing account of his chief movements.

It will be necessary before proceeding further with the narrative of Shalmaneser's movements to fasten attention for a time upon the lands of Palestine and Egypt. When Hoshea became king of Samaria in 733-2, during the reign of Tiglath Pileser III, he accepted the post as a subject of the Assyrian monarch, and was bound in every possible way to maintain peace. There is no reason to doubt that he remained faithful to Tiglath Pileser till the great monarch died. When the change of rulers came in Assyria we may also look for disturbances among the subject states. We have learned from frequent instances that the western states accepted the domination of Assyria only at the point of the sword. They hated the conquering destructive monarchs, and yielded only when they were crushed. We have also learned that the populations subject to Assyria were always hoping for an opportunity to free themselves from the galling yoke, and we have seen in several instances that they commonly chose as an opportunity the change of rulers in Assyria. But Tiglath Pileser III had introduced a new sort of conquest and an entirely new form of administrative policy, and it was not to be expected that the opportunity for rebellion would be so great at the end of his reign as it had been before. His conquests were less destructive, less bloody, than those, for example, of Asshurnazirpal, and hence the wounds which they made in the sensibilities of a people were less deep and angry. But further and more important than this, he not only conquered, he ruled. Provinces were not plundered and then, after being commanded to pay an annual tribute, left to themselves. They were provided with Assyrian governors, who could watch every movement of the subject populations, and so scent the very first sign of rebellion or of conspiracy looking to it. When any people had been so conquered and so administered during a king's reign they were not able easily to make a confederation when his death occurred. This was a very different situation from that which tribute-paying states had previously known. If rebellions at the change of kings were now generally less likely to occur, still more were they unlikely in Palestine, and of the land of Palestine they were in no country so improbable as in Israel. For by far the larger and better part of the kingdom was absolutely administered and ruled by Assyrians, and in part populated by colonists. The kingdom which was permitted to retain the semblance of autonomy extended but a short distance around the capital city. There was no inherent likelihood of any outbreak in Samaria, or any effort to win back again the old independence, when Tiglath Pileser III died, and in the selfsame month Shalmaneser IV succeeded him.

But there was another land in the west in which great changes had come and new aspirations, along with new fears, had arisen. In Egypt with the year 728 there began to reign the twenty-fifth, or Ethiopian, dynasty. The Ethiopians had really governed Egypt since about 775, when Piankhi made good his suzerainty by conquest. But from 775 to 728 the Ethiopian kings had been content to exercise their supremacy over the land while they suffered the native princes of Egypt to retain their nominal sway. They were content to receive the homage and tribute of these petty princes, leaving to them the internal administration of the country, but watching carefully lest any combination might be formed to threaten their real rule. There were probably numerous attempts to achieve liberty again, but they were successfully put down. At last a native Egyptian prince, called by the Egyptians king, and reigning at Memphis under the name of Bakenrenf, the Bokkhoris of the Greeks, was deposed and killed by Shabaka of Ethiopia, who now took into his own hands the rule over the combined kingdoms of Ethiopia and Egypt. After this change in the dynasty in Egypt there are numerous signs that a great reawakening of the people of the ancient country of the Nile begins. At last they seem to have seen that the progress of Assyria must finally threaten themselves; that it could not stop at the southern limits of Palestine, but must ultimately, and none could say how soon, cross into Egypt. Furthermore, the Egyptians were beginning to long for a restoration of their power over the great Asiatic provinces as it had been in the golden days of Thutmosis III and Ramses II. The Ethiopian kings in Egypt had a difficult task in ruling as overlords over the princes in the Delta and elsewhere, who had once been free. What could do more to reconcile Egypt to the new order of affairs than a movement against the common foe of all the west or a campaign to recover the long-lost Asiatic provinces?

As we have seen above, it was altogether improbable that Israel would dare single-handed to break faith with the Assyrians, but if there was some hope of aid from the Egyptians, the case was altogether different. The people of Israel could not be expected to know fully the internal affairs of Egypt so as to understand the essential weakness of the country as an ally. They could readily know the greatness of the Egyptian empire, in which Upper and Lower Egypt were combined with the rich and prosperous kingdom of Ethiopia. They might well be acquainted with the glorious history of Egypt, with its great conquests and successful wars in the past. They could hardly, on the other hand, be expected to know of the weakness of the country at present, of the unsettled strife between the Ethiopian emperor and the princes of native blood; of the local jealousies and petty provincial strifes; of official corruption; and of the insolent avarice of the priestly class. Instead of Egypt's being an important and valuable ally it was in reality a very weak one, and a little later may be shown to be a cause of weakness rather than strength to her Syrian allies. None of these things were apparently known to Hoshea. Induced by some representations made to him, or through the direct holding out of the Egyptian hand, he sent messengers to Sibe, who was probably an underking of Shabaka, and entered into some sort of alliance with him. He now felt strong enough to omit the payment of the annual tribute to Assyria, which he had paid "year upon year". This implies that he had paid it at least two years before it was omitted—that is, in 727 and 726.

Now it has already appeared that Shalmaneser IV was in Syria, or at least an army of his, in the accession year, 727. A natural way of paying the tribute, and a very common one, was to the Assyrian army when it was near at hand. This Hoshea seems to have done in 727, and again in 726. In 725, relying on the help of Egypt, he rebelled and refused the annual payment of tribute. At once Shalmaneser IV invades Samaria with an army to reduce this incipient fire of rebellion, which, uncontrolled, might involve the whole of his valuable Syrian possessions in flames. Hoshea was altogether disappointed in his expectation of help from Egypt and was left to meet his fate alone. The reserve of the biblical sources has told us nothing of the efforts of Hoshea against the forces of the Assyrians. From the order of the narrative we are probably justified in the inference that he left his capital with an army to meet the advance of the forces of Shalmaneser. He was, however, overwhelmed, captured, and probably taken to Assyria. Shalmaneser had now an open way to the city of Samaria, which he had determined to destroy as the penalty for its rebellion. The execution of this plan was not so easy as the conquest and capture of the king. Samaria prepared for a siege. There is something heroic in the very thought. It was surrounded and hemmed in by territory over which it had once ruled in undisputed sway, but which had long been controlled by Assyrian governors and filled with Assyrian colonists. As Shalmaneser advanced closer he would, of course, destroy and lay waste everything about the city which might have furnished any aid or comfort to it. From the villages and towns thus destroyed the people would flock into the capital until it was crowded. The people of Samaria may have hoped for help from Egypt, watching with sick hearts for signs of an approaching army of succor. They knew what surrender meant in the loss of their city, and in probable deportation to strange lands. They were fighting to the bitter end for homes and for life. So they resisted—and the story is amazing—for three long years. The king of Assyria died, and still Samaria held out, and would not surrender. It makes one think what might have been if there had been such courage in Israel in the days of Menahem. Shalmaneser IV died in 722 and left Samaria unconquered, and hence all Syria in jeopardy to his successor. If a weak man should take his place now, all that had been won by Tiglath Pileser III might be lost.

We have no further knowledge of any events in the reign of Shalmaneser IV. It is true that Josephus: has preserved an account of an expedition of his against Tyre, which he had taken from Menander. According to his story a certain Eluaeus, king of Tyre, had rebelled, and Shalmaneser came to besiege the city. He was, however, unable to reduce it after a five years' siege. We have no allusion to any such siege in any of the inscription material which we possess, and it is altogether probable that Josephus has made a mistake and ascribed to Shalmaneser a siege of Tyre which was really made by Sennacherib. If he had really besieged Tyre and left this siege also as an inheritance to his successor, we should almost certainly find it mentioned in the abundant historical material of the next reign.

It is impossible properly to estimate the character or deeds of Shalmaneser from the scanty historical materials which we possess. His reign of only five years was entirely too short for any great undertakings. He undoubtedly left to his successor more problems than he had solved himself.