Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/17

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XV
INTRODUCTION

Ch‘u with 200,000 is that the latter were undisciplined.”[1]

鄧名世 Têng Ming-shih in his 姓氏辨證書 (completed in 1134) informs us that the surname was bestowed on Sun Wu’s grandfather by 景公 Duke Ching of Ch'i [547-490 B.C.]. Sun Wu’s father Sun P‘ing, rose to be a Minister of State in Ch‘i, and Sun Wu himself, whose style was 長卿 Ch‘ang-ch‘ing, fled to Wu on account of the rebellion which was being fomented by the kindred of 田鮑 T‘ien Pao. He had three sons, of whom the second, named Ming, was the father of Sun Pin. According to this account, then, Pin was the grandson of Wu,[2] which, considering that Sun Pin's victory over Wei was gained in 341 B.C., may be dismissed as chronologically impossible. Whence these data were obtained by Têng Ming-shih I do not know, but of course no reliance whatever can be placed in them.

An interesting document which has survived from the close of the Han period is the short preface written by the great 曹操 Ts‘ao Ts‘ao, or 魏武帝 Wei Wu Ti, for his edition of Sun Tzŭ. I shall give it in full: —

I have heard that the ancients used bows and arrows to their advantage.[3] The Lun Yü says: “There must be a sufficiency of military strength.”[4] The Shu Ching mentions “the army” among the “eight objects of government.”[5] The I Ching says: “ 'army' indicates firmness and justice; the experienced leader will have good fortune.”[6]


  1. 孫武以三萬破楚二十萬者楚無法故也.
  2. The Shih Chi, on the other hand, says: 臏亦孫武之後世子孫也. I may remark in passing that the name for one who was a great warrior is just as for a man who had his feet cut off.
  3. An allusion to 易經,繫辭,II. 2:弦木為弧剡木為失弧矢之利以威天下 “They attached strings to wood to make bows, and sharpened wood to make arrows. The use of bows and arrows is to keep the Empire in awe.”
  4. 論語 XII. 7.
  5. 書經 V. iv. 7.
  6. 易經,7th diagram().