The Art of War (1910) PDF book by Sun Tzu

The Art of War (1910) 

The Art of War
The Art of War


Translated by Lionel Giles
Excerpt from the translator's introduction:

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. When I say "About turn," you must face right round towards the back. Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order "Right turn." But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. So he started drilling them again.


With a view to obviating this difficulty so far as Sun Tzu is concerned, I have also appended a complete concordance of Chinese characters, following in this the admirable example of Legge, though an alphabetical arrangement has been preferred to the distribution under radicals which he adopted. Another feature borrowed from "The Chinese Classics" is the printing of text, translation, and notes on the same page; the notes, however, are inserted, according to the Chinese method, immediately after the passages to which they refer. From the mass of native commentary, my aim has been to extract the cream only, adding the Chinese text here and there when it seemed to present points of literary interest. Though constituting in itself an important branch of Chinese literature, very little commentary of this kind has hitherto been made directly accessible by translation.

I may say in conclusion that, owing to the printing off of my sheets as they were completed, the work has not had the benefit of a final revision. On a review of the whole, without modifying the substance of my criticisms, I might have been inclined in a few instances to temper their asperity. Having chosen to wield a bludgeon, however, I shall not cry out if in return I am visited with more than a rap over the knuckles. Indeed, I have been at some pains to put a sword into the hands of future opponents by scrupulously giving either text or reference for every passage translated. A scathing review, even from the pen of the Shanghai critic who despises "mere translations," would not, I must confess, be altogether unwelcome. For, after all, the worst fate I shall have to dread is that which befell the ingenious paradoxes of George in The Vicar of Wakefield.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking.


Contents of the book
  • PREFACE 
  • INTRODUCTION
  • Sun Tzu and his Book xi
  • The Text of Sun Tzu xxx
  • The Commentators xxxiv
  • Appreciations of Sun Tzu xlii
  • Apologies for war xliii
  • Bibliography 1
  •  Laying Plans i
  • Waging War 9
  • Attack by Stratagem 17
  • Tactical Dispositions 26
  • Energy 33
  • Weak Points and Strong 42
  • Maneuvering 55
  • The. Variation of Tactics 71
  • the Army on the March 80
  • Terrain 100
  • The Nine Situations 114
  • The Attack by Fire 150
  • The Use of Spies. 160
  • CHINESE CONCORDANCE 176
  • INDEX 192
Lionel Giles was a British sinologist, writer, and philosopher. Lionel Giles served as assistant curator at the British Museum and Keeper of the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books. He is most notable for his 1910 translation of The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Analects of Confucius

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