Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/25

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xxiii
Introduction

the taking of Ying, or that he even went there at all. Moreover, as we know that Wu Yuan and Po P‘ei both took part in the expedition, and also that its success was largely due to the dash and enterprise of 夫槩 Fu Kai, Ho Lu’s younger brother, it is not easy to see how yet another general could have played a very prominent part in the same campaign.

陳振孫 Ch‘ên Chên-sun of the Sung dynasty has the note:[1] —

Military writers look upon Sun Wu as the father of their art. But the fact that he does not appear in the Tso Chuan, although he is said to have served under Ho Lü King of Wu, makes it uncertain what period he really belonged to.[2]

He also says: —

The works of Sun Wu and Wu Ch‘i may be of genuine antiquity.[3]

It is noticeable that both Yeh Shui-hsin and Ch‘ên Chên-sun, while rejecting the personality of Sun Wu as he figures in Ssŭ-ma Ch‘ien’s history, are inclined to accept the date traditionally assigned to the work which passes under his name. The author of the Hsü Lu fails to appreciate this distinction, and consequently his bitter attack on Ch‘ên Chên-sun really misses its mark. He makes one or two points, however, which certainly tell in favour of the high antiquity of our “13 chapters.” “Sun Tzŭ,” he says, “must have lived in the age of Ching Wang [519—476], because he is frequently plagiarised in subsequent works of the Chou, Ch‘in and Han dynasties.”[4]


  1. In the 書錄解題, a classified catalogue of his family library.
  2. See Wên Hsien T‘ung K‘ao, ch. 221, f. 9 r°: 世之言兵者祖孫武然孫武事吳闔閭而不見於左傳不知果何時人也.
  3. See Hsü Lu, f. 14 r°: 孫吳或是古書.
  4. 按孫子生於敬王之代故周秦兩漢諸書皆多襲用其文. Here is a list of the passages in Sun Tzŭ from which