Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/43

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xli
Introduction

the Yü Hai, but it finds a niche in the T‘ung Chih, which also names him as the author of the 百將傳 “Lives of Famous Generals.”[1]

It is rather remarkable that the last-named four should all have flourished within so short a space of time. Ch‘ao Kung-wu accounts for it by saying: “During the early years-of the Sung dynasty the Empire enjoyed a long spell of peace, and men ceased to practise the art of war. But when [Chao] Yüan-hao’s rebellion came [1038—42] and the frontier generals were defeated time after time, the Court made strenuous enquiry for men skilled in war, and military topics became the vogue amongst all the high officials. Hence it is that the commentators of Sun Tzŭ in our dynasty belong mainly to that period.”[2]

Besides these eleven commentators, there are several others whose work has not come down to us. The Sui Shu mentions four, namely 王凌 Wang Ling (often quoted by Tu Yu as 王子); 張子尙 Chang Tzŭ-shang; 賈詡 Chia Hsü of Wei;[3] and 沈友 Shên Yu of Wu. The T‘ang Shu adds 孫鎬 Sun Hao, and the T‘ung Chih 蕭吉 Hsiao Chi, while the T‘u Shu mentions a Ming commentator, 黃潤玉 Huang Jun-yü. It is possible that some of these may have been merely collectors and editors of other commentaries, like Chi T‘ien-pao and Chi Hsieh, mentioned above. Certainly in the case of the latter, the entry 紀夑注孫子 in the T‘ung K‘ao, without the following note, would give one to understand that he had written an independent commentary of his own.

There are two works, described in the Ssu K‘u Ch‘üan


  1. This appears to be still extant. See Wylie’s “Notes,” p. 91 (new edition).
  2. T‘ung K‘ao, loc. cit.: 仁廟時天下久承平人不習兵元昊既叛邊將數敗朝廷頗訪知兵者士大夫人人言兵矣故本朝注解孫武書者大扺皆其時人也.
  3. A notable person in his day. His biography is given in the San Kuo Chih, ch. 10.