(Translator: Lionel Giles)
Categorie(s): Non-Fiction, Philosophy, History, Military
About Sun Tzu:
Sun Tzu was a Chinese author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. He is also one of the earliest realists in international relations theory. The name Sun Tzu ("Master Sun") is an honorific title bestowed upon Sun Wu, the author's name. The character wu, meaning "military", is the same as the character in wu shu, or martial art. Sun Wu also has a courtesy name, Chang Qing. Source: Wikipedia
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Lionel Giles' ground-breaking 1910 edition of Sun Tzu's ancient treatise on the Art of War was nothing short of a scholarly masterpiece. It contains the original Chinese text, an accurate and fancy-free yet highly readable translation, extensive annotations by both ancient Chinese commentators and Giles himself, and a vast introduction to provide an indepth historical perspective to it all. Despite not having become the final word on Art of War translations, this now public domain text of a brilliant Orientalist remains an ideal yardstick against which other translations can be measured. This edition aims to offer the reader the full Lionel Giles translation, sans the annotations, corrected of the many small errors and outright omissions present in most freely distributed digital copies of the work 1. And instead of the lengthy and necessarily dry academic introduction of the original, our book begins with the fascinating ancient Chinese anecdote about Sun Tzu and the Emperor's concubines. The publisher, Pax Librorum Publishing House, simultaneously offers an inexpensive paperback edition (ISBN-13: 978-0-9811626-3-8) as well as free digital copies on its website and elsewhere. If you enjoy this free eBook, please consider showing your support by purchasing the paperback edition from Amazon.com or BN.com for a friend or a loved one. The Publisher
1.This edition, due to technical limitations, uses simplified numbering for Chapters 1 and 2. Correctly, paragraph 5 in Chapter 1 ought to be marked “5, 6.” with numbers following in sequence thereafter; and paragraph 13 in Chapter 2 ought to be marked “13, 14.” with numbers likewise following in sequence for the remainder of the chapter.
Sun Tzu Wu was a native of the Ch`i State. His Art of War brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: “I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?” Sun Tzu replied: “You may.”
Ho Lu asked: “May the test be applied to women?”
The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favourite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: “I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?”
The girls replied: “Yes.”
Sun Tzu went on: “When I say ‘Eyes front,’ you must look straight ahead. When I say ‘Left turn,’ you must face towards your left hand. When I say ‘Right turn,’ you must face towards your right hand....