Governors appointed by Tiglath-Pileser III

According to his royal inscriptions, Tiglath-pileser III installed his eunuchs as provincial governors over the local people in many regions that he annexed to Assyria and turned into Assyrian provinces. However, a typical feature of his royal inscriptions is the standard phrase regarding these appointments, šutrēšīya šaknu muhhisšnu aškun, "I placed my eunuch(s) as governor(s) over them," which does not let us identify the governors in question with their real names. Fortunately, the Nimrud Letters, together with the Assyrian Eponym Lists, provide complementary information to fill some of these gaps in the Assyrian royal inscriptions, but it should be noted that the provincial organization of Tiglath-pileser still remains somewhat uncertain according to the available sources; this is especially the case in the west where most of the new Assyrian provinces were located.[[19]]

19In the following table, a preliminary concordance is suggested between the names of the known governors who appear in the Nimrud Letters and the passages in Tiglath-pileser's royal inscriptions that mention the appointments of eunuchs as governors in the east, west, north and south of the Assyrian empire. The purpose of this concordance that is presented in TABLE I is to facilitate comparison between the two textual genres and it is carried out by enumerating first the name of a governor, his province, letter(s) he sent, received or was mentioned in , next to the passages of RINAP 1 (and Tadmor Tigl.):[[20]]

TABLE I. Tiglath-pileser's Governors according to the Nimrud Letters and his Royal Inscriptions

Governor (Province)Letter(s)RINAP references
Aššur-da''inanni (Mazamua/Lullumi)Nos. 9 J -93RINAP l 13:18, 41:1 3, 47:42 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann . 19*, Summ. 3 and 7)
Aššur-remanni (Claneh)Cf. nos. 6, 47, 172RINAP 1 12:12, 46:21, 49:27, 50:2 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann. 25, Summ. 6, 9 and 10)
Aššur-šallimanni (Arrapha[[23]])Nos. 80-88RINAP 147:14,51:17 (TadmorTigl. Summ. 7 and I I)
Bel- duri (?) (Damascus)No. 172, SAA 1 171- 172RINAP 1 13:11, 31:8, 49 r.2, 50 r.2 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann . 19*, 26, Summ. 9 and 10)
Inurta-belu-uṣur (Arpad[[24]], possibly also Kar- Shalmaneser)Nos. 33-36RINAP 1 46:21, 49:25 (Tadmor Tigl. Summ. 6 and 9); 200 1:1 (= Rollig, Fs Parpola pp. 268, 271f, 276ff)
Inurta-ila'i (Naṣibina and possibly Kar-Shalmanserer[[25]])Nos. 53-59RINAP 1 53:18 (Tadmor Tig l. Misc. I' 1)[[26]]
Qurdi-Aššur (-lamur) (Ṣimirra)Nos. 22-32RINAP 1 (13:11 and 3 1:8), 46 :24 , 48:9 , 49 r.2 (?), 4(?), 50 r.2(?), 4(?) (Tadmor Tig l. Ann . 19*, 26, Summ. 6, 8, 9 and 10)
Sulaya (tu'immu?)No . 47RINAP 1 12:12 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann.* 25)
Šamaš-ahu- iddina (?) (Ṣupat)No . 37 (cf. SAA 1 172 =ND 2495)RINAP 1 13:11, 31:8 , 49r.2, 50r.2 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann.19*, 26 , Summ. 9 and 10)
Šamaš-bunaya (?) (Northern Babylonia[[27]]) Nos. 98-102RINAP 1 5:8 , 39:7, 40:10f(?), 45:3, 46:10f, 47:10 , 51:9,52:9 (Tadmor Tigl. Ann. 9 , Summ. 1, 2, 14, 6 , 7 , 11 and 12)
Šamaš-ila'iNos. 68-69RINAP 1 37:44,39:29,41:31,49:8 (Tadmor Tigl. Mila Mergi, Summ. l , 3 and 9)
The chief eunuchThe sender of no. 24 instead of Qurdi-Aššur (-lamur) RINAP 1 47 r.l4, 16, 49 r.26f (Tadmor Tigl. Summ. 7 and 9)

Strikingly, the number of these high officials is relatively low . It is also clear and worth noting that in Tiglath-pileser' s royal inscriptions there is no room for any governors in the Assyrian home provinces; to some extent an exception to the rule is the governor of Arrapha, Aššur-sallimanni, who was one of the main architects of the Assyrian campaigns into Babylonia

19 For example, we do not know whether the first governor of Damascus was Bel-duri or that of Manṣuate(?) Adda-hati (only under Sargon?). It is also not known who was the governor of Hatarikka (on the city and province, see e.g. Tammuz, SAAB 18 [2009-20 10] 191-95). Note also the uncertainty regarding the date of Haurina's annexation (probably in 732, cf. Radner, RIA II [2006] 58, 61). For appointing six (738) and [x] (734-732) governors in the west,

see RINAP 1 42:4f and 8 (Tadmor, Summ. 4); also Kessler, WO 8 (1975) 49-63.

20 See also the generic mentions of the appointed governors in RINAP 1 35 ii 20'f and 39:3 (Tadmor Tigl. Iran Stele II Band Summ. 1).

21 See RINAP 1 13, note on line 18, and SAA 15, xxiv, xxxviii.

22 Note that alongside these explicit or implicit references to Aššur-da"inanni, RINAP 1 7:6; 8:7 and 35 i 9'f (the latter two refer to the same unnamed governor) also concern the appointments of governors in the east in 744 while RINAP 1 17:8 (two or more governors) and RINAP 1 39:19 likewise in 737. Additionally, RINAP 1 41:11 (two or more governors), 46:16 (one, two or more governors) and 47:37 (two or more governors) deal with these same appointments in 744 and 737.

23 A brick fragment (YBC 16941) of which attribution to Tiglath-pileser III's reign, instead of that of Tiglat-pileser I or II, is uncertain is now edited as RINAP 1 2006 (see also Beckman, ARRIM 5 [ 1987] 2 and Frame, BCSMS 35 [2000] 95). It originates from Kiditê, " provincial gove[rnor of ... 1 and of (the city) Arrapha [ ... ]" (lines 3f). A likely scenario of events related to the brick fragment might run as follows: Nabû-belu-uṣur, governor of Arrapha and eponym of the year 745 (no documents are known to be dated by his name, cf. PNA 2/II, p. 817a), appointed to his post by Aššur-nerari V, is replaced as the governor of Arrapha by Kiditê after the usurper Tiglath-pileser III ascends to the throne in 745. Furthermore, it is probably after the successful military campaign, which saw the conquest of northern Babylonia and the subjugation of Aramean tribes east of the Tigris in 745 (RINAP 1 nos. 4-6, 39:4-7, 40:3-11 , 46: 5-11), when Kiditê, a newly appointed governor of Arrapha, whose double title may reflect the events of 745, writes a votive inscription to Tiglath-pileser III. The broken line RINAP 1 35 i 4' may be about Kiditê's appointment and RINAP 1 46: 10f also seems to refer to an earlier governor than Aššur-šallimanni in the same area. One may point out that Kiditê's double title is in a way in harmony with Aššur-šallimanni many-sided activities in a geographically large area (see nos. 80-88). On the other hand, one may also note that the writing ar-rap-ha-ia could refer to an unnamed governor of Arrapha or a person named Arraphayu (cf. PNA III, p. 133f) whose Personenkeil the scribe may have inadvertently omitted but, since line 5 of RINAP 1 2006 refers to one person, it seems unlikely that we would have two authors for this votive brick inscription.

24 In 740, the former state of Arpad (Bit-Agusi) was split by Tiglath-pileser III into two provinces: Arpad and Tu'ammu, cf. Radner RIA 11 (2006) 58, 63.

25 Cf. Rollig, Festschrift Parpola p. 269 n. 20.

26 For a copy of the text, see F. Thureau-Dangin, Arslan-Tash (Paris 1931) 61 (Fig. 20).

27 Of course some of the references (esp. RINAP 1 46: 10f) that concern northern Babylonia (and beyond it) in Tiglath-pileser's royal inscriptions may be too early to refer to Šamaš-bunaya, who, just like Aššur-šallimanni, was playing an important role in the Mukin-zeri rebellion, late in Tiglath-pileser' s reign.

Mikko Luukko

Mikko Luukko, 'Governors appointed by Tiglath-Pileser III', The Correspondence of Tiglath-Pileser III and Sargon II from Calah/Nimrud, SAA 19. Original publication: Winona Laka, IN, Eisenbrauns, 2012; online contents: SAAo/SAA19 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 []

Back to top ^^
SAAo/SAA19, 2014-. Since 2015, SAAo is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [] license, 2007-20.
Oracc uses cookies only to collect Google Analytics data. Read more here []; see the stats here []; opt out here.