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"The Art of War"

The Art of War (Picture 1)


"The Art of War" is the earliest extant military book in China and the earliest military work in the world. It predates Clausewitz's "Theory of War" about 2,300 years ago and is known as the "sacred book of military science". There are about 6,000 words in total, and a total of 13 articles. The author is General Wu from the State of Wu, whose ancestral home is Qi Guolean during the Spring and Autumn Period. "Sun Tzu's Art of War" is a brilliant treasure in ancient Chinese military cultural heritage and an important part of excellent traditional culture. Its content is broad and profound, its thoughts are sophisticated and rich, and its logic is meticulous and rigorous. It is a concentrated expression of the essence of ancient military thought. "Sun Tzu's Art of War" is regarded as a classic of military strategists. It has a history of 2500 years and has been studied in all ages. Li Shimin said, "There is no Sun Wu in the books of war." The art of war is a strategy, and a strategy is not a small trick, but a grand strategy and great wisdom. Today, "Sun Tzu's Art of War" has gone to the world. It has also been translated into many languages ​​and has an important position in world military history. The Han Dynasty version of "Sun Tzu's Art of War" bamboo slips were unearthed in Linyi Yinqueshan Han Tomb in 1972.

The academic circles generally believe that the "Sun Tzu Art of War" originated in the late Spring and Autumn Period of China; some believe that it was written in the Warring States Period or the latter. Regarding the author of this book, most believe that it was written by Sun Wu, and it has been collated by later generations. Regarding Sun Wu's life time, academic circles also have different opinions. Generally speaking, he is regarded as a person in the late Spring and Autumn Period, about the same time as Confucius. Before "Sun Tzu's Art of War" came into being, it should have gone through a relatively long period of gestation. There are many factors for its production, and the most important one should have the following points: China's ancient times, especially in the Spring and Autumn Period, frequent, fierce, and diverse wars are the source of the "Sun Tzu Art of War"; the prior art theory of war Achievements, such as "Military Records", "Military Administration", Ancient "Sima Method", Orders, etc., are the stepping stones of "Sun Tzu Art of War" to the top of the military science; the social thoughts in the Spring and Autumn Period, especially about "Dao" and "Dao" Theories of benevolence, "yin and yang", and "protecting the people" are the cultural factors in the formation of "Sun Tzu's Art of War"; the Qi culture of advocating martial arts and advocating wisdom is fertile ground for cultivating the "Sun Tzu's Art of War", a marvelous military theory. Sun Wu's personal talent and hard work are the subjective factors that produced the "Sun Tzu Art of War". In addition, the general thinking, dialectical thinking, and elephant-like thinking that China had formed in the pre-Qin period played a guiding role in the construction of the "Sun Tzu Art of War" theoretical system. This is the main reason why "Sun Tzu's Art of War" was produced in China but not in foreign countries, and why it was produced in the Spring and Autumn Period but not in other periods.

The first person to introduce "Sun Tzu's Art of War" to Europe was the French Catholic Jesuit missionary Joseph J. Amio. Speaking of this name, most officials and literati in Beijing during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty were probably at a loss, but when it comes to his Chinese name, Qian Deming, many people know it. It turned out that this Jesuit who was born in Toulon, France in 1718, was sent to China in 1750. The next year he was summoned to the capital by Emperor Qianlong, who was planning to make a few Western friends. Since then, he has been courteous by the Qing Dynasty. And this Qian Deming lived in Beijing, the ancient capital of the East, for 43 years. During this period, apart from preaching, he spent most of his energy on studying Chinese culture. He learned Manchu and Chinese, and introduced Chinese history, language, Confucianism, music, medicine and other knowledge to France, which aroused wide attention from French and European cultural circles. Among them, the most valuable translation work is the translation of 6 ancient Chinese military books commissioned by the minister of the French King Louis XV era M·Berdon. Relying on his profound knowledge in Manchu Chinese, Qian Deming started the translation work based on a Manchu manuscript of the "Seven Books of Martial Scriptures" and compared it with Chinese military books. In 1772, the Dido Publishing House in Paris published this series of military sciences called "Chinese Military Art", the second of which was "Sun Tzu's Art of War".

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