Ancient Near East - Tiglath-Pileser III

Updated: Jul 19

In the first half of the eighth century, Assyria had lost its ability to campaign outside its borders, and internally local officials had usurped some of the royal powers. Provincial governors were able to act with a great deal of independence, although they still had to acknowledge their subservience to the king.

This all changed with the rise of Tiglath-Pileser III. When he came to the throne, he carried out extensive reforms that focused on thwarting the powers of the governors by replacing their large provinces with smaller ones and increased their number from 12 to 25. Similarly, he made the most important military and administrative offices less powerful by assigning them to two persons rather than one. He also appointed eunuchs in high government positions so that there was no pressure for duties to be passed on from father to son.