The Art of War by Sun Tzu Free PDF book Translated by Lionel Giles (1944)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Free PDF book Translate by Lionel Giles

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Free PDF book

The Giles' edition of the ART OF WAR, as stated above, was a scholarly work. Dr. Giles was a leading sinologue at the time and an assistant in the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts in the British Museum. Apparently, he wanted to produce a definitive edition, superior to anything else that existed and perhaps something that would become a standard translation. It was the best translation available for 50 years.

But apparently, there was not much interest in Sun Tzu in English- speaking countries since it took the start of the Second World War to renew interest in his work. Several people published unsatisfactory English translations of Sun Tzu. In 1944, Dr. Giles' translation was edited and published in the United States in a series of military science books. But it wasn't until 1963 that a good English translation (by Samuel B. Griffith and still in print) was published that was an equal to Giles' translation. While this translation is more lucid than Dr. Giles' translation, it lacks the copious notes that make him so interesting.

Dr. Giles produced a work primarily intended for scholars of the Chinese civilization and language. It contains the Chinese text of Sun Tzu, the English translation, and voluminous notes along with numerous footnotes. Unfortunately, some of his notes and footnotes contain Chinese characters; some are completely Chinese. Thus, a conversion to a Latin alphabet etext was difficult. I did the conversion in complete ignorance of Chinese (except for what I learned while doing the conversion). Thus, I faced the difficult task of paraphrasing it while retaining as much of the important text as I could. Every paraphrase represents a loss; thus I did what I could to retain as much of the text as possible. Because the 1910 text contains a Chinese concordance, I was able to transliterate proper names, books, and the like at the risk of making the text more obscure. However, the text, on the whole, is quite satisfactory for the casual reader, a transformation made possible by conversion to an etext. However, I come away from this task with the feeling of loss because I know that someone with a background in Chinese can do a better job than I did; any such attempt would be welcomed.


Contents:


1 INTRODUCTION 4

1.1 Sun Wu and his Book 4

1.2 The Text of Sun Tzu 14

1.3 The Commentators 16

1.4 Appreciations of Sun Tzu 20

1.5 Apologies for War 21

2 LAYING PLANS 28

3 WAGING WAR 32

4 ATTACK BY STRATAGEM 36

5 TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS 42

6 ENERGY 46

7 WEAK POINTS AND STRONG 52

8 MANEUVERING 59

9 VARIATION IN TACTICS 68

10 THE ARMY ON THE MARCH 74

11 TERRAIN 85

12 THE NINE SITUATIONS 92

13 THE ATTACK BY FIRE 114

14 THE USE OF SPIES 120


Author: Sun Tzu 
Translator:  Lionel Giles
Date 1944


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