Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/52

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The following are the oldest Chinese treatises on war, after Sun Tzŭ. The notes on each have been drawn principally from the 四庫全書簡明目錄 Ssŭ k‘u ch‘üan shu chien ming mu lu, ch. 9, fol. 22 sqq.

1. 吳子 Wu Tzŭ, in 1 chüan or 6 chapters. By 吳起 Wu Ch‘i (d. BC. 381). A genuine work. See Shih Chi, ch. 65.

2. 司馬法 Ssŭ-ma Fa, in 1 chüan or 5 chapters. Wrongly attributed to 司馬穰苴 Ssŭ-ma Jang-chü of the 6th century BC. Its date, however, must be early, as the customs of the three ancient dynasties are constantly to be met with in its pages.[1] See Shih Chi, ch. 64.

The Ssŭ K‘u Ch‘üan Shu (ch. 99, f. 1) remarks that the oldest three treatises on war, Sun Tzŭ, Wu Tzŭ and the Ssŭ-ma Fa, are, generally speaking, only concerned with things strictly military — the art of producing, collecting, training and drilling troops, and the correct theory with regard to measures of expediency, laying plans, transport of goods and the handling of soldiers[2] — in strong contrast to later works, in which the science of war is usually blended with metaphysics, divination and magical arts in general.

3. 六韜 Liu T‘ao, in 6 chüan or 60 chapters. Attributed to 呂望 Lü Wang (or Lü Shang, also known as 太公 T‘ai Kung) of the 12th century B.C.[3] But


  1. 其時去古未遠三代遺規往往於此書見之.
  2. 其最古者當以孫子吳子司馬法爲本大抵生聚訓練之術權謀運用之宜而已.
  3. See p. 174. Further details on T‘ai Kung will be found in the Shih Chi, ch. 32 ad init. Besides the tradition which makes him a former minister of Chou Hsin, two other accounts of him are there given, according to which he would appear to have been first raised from a humble private station by Wên Wang.