Is Tiglath-Pileser Pul?

The Biblical Tiglath-Pileser (otherwise known as Tiglath-pilneser) is identified by all with the Assyrian Tukultī-apil-Ešarra III, who, reigning from 745 to 727 BC, mentioned Menahem as paying tribute in 738 (or 743) BC. He is also identified by most with the biblical “Pul“, as 1 Chronicles 5:26 (probably emended by later scribes to its present state of having “Pul” and “Tiglath-pilneser” be referred to separately) and Tiglath-Pileser’s own mention of Menahem strongly imply. This is supported by Tiglath-Pileser being mentioned as “Pulu” in the Babylonian King List A and “Porus” in Ptolemy’s Canon, Ptolemy’s dates being fixed by the eclipse records in his Almagest. It seems certain Tiglath Pileser, and no previous monarch, was the true author of the Iran Stele, as shown by the fact the Stele references several events (such as the siege of Arpad) which are known to have been done by no other than Tiglath-Pileser. Following literal Biblical chronology is not going to lead anyone anywhere.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

2 thoughts on “Is Tiglath-Pileser Pul?”

  1. I have a keen interest in ancient near east history. In any case, if we are to believe the babylonian king list and I believe this source to be far superior to latter biblical texts, ‘Pulu’ most certainly refers to the actual name (Sanskrit/Indian) name ‘Puru’ which had been hellenized as ‘Porus’ in Ptolemy’s Canon.
    You see, those outside of the Sanskrit speaking elite and nobility, spoke a variant of the language, such as Prakrit (a precursor of Pali, the language of the buddhist texts) in which ‘r’ is prononunced as ‘l’ or not at all. Therefore, a sanskrit name such as ‘Mahendra’ will become ‘Mahinda’ and so on. The hellenization of ancient Indian names has also put in much ambiguity to historical clarity. As always, western authors tend to follow (almost exclusively) greek texts and the bible as true sources for history, a lamentable fact indeed.


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