The art of war - PDF (1910) by Sun-Tzu

The art of war -Translated by Lionel Giles

The art of war


The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 771 to 476 BC).



An excerpt from the translator's introduction


Throughout the nineteenth century, which saw a wonderful development in the study of Chinese literature, no translator ventured to tackle Sun Tzu, although his work was known to be highly valued in China. oldest and best compendium of military science. It was; not until the year 1905 that the first English translation by Capt. E. F. Calthrop, R.F.A., appeared in Tokyo under the title "Sonshi" (the Japanese form of Sun Tzu). 

Unfortunately, it was evident that the translator's knowledge of Chinese was far too scanty to fit him to grapple( with the manifold difficulties of Sun Tzu. He himself plainly acknowledges that without the aid of two Japanese gentlemen "the accompanying translation would have been impossible." We can only wonder, then, that with their help it should have been so excessively bad. It is not merely a question of downright blunders, from which none can hope to be wholly exempt. 

Omissions were frequent hard passages that were willfully distorted or slurred over. Such offences are less pardonable. They would not be tolerated ( in any edition of a Greek or Latin classic, and a similar standard of honesty ought to be insisted upon in translations from Chinese.

Some quotes:


“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

“All warfare is based on deception.”

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”

“Danger has a bracing effect.”

the book details :
  • Author: Sun Tzu
  • Lionel Giles
  • Publication date:1910
  • Company: London Luzac

  • Download 12.9 MB

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