Tartan (Tahr´tan)

An official title of rank within the Assyrian military, the commander in chief or field marshal second only to the king. An officer of this rank led Sargon’s assault against Ashdod (ca. 712 BCE). Another officer of this rank was sent by Sennacherib along with two other officials, the Rabshakeh and the Rabsaris, to demand Hezekiah’s surrender of Jerusalem (ca. 701 BCE). In some versions the title is understood as a proper name; in others it is translated as “commander” or something similar.

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