ART OF WAR
Lionel Giles Translation
SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR
This e-book presents a complete translation of Sun Tzu on the Art of War as penned by Dr. Lionel Giles from Great Britain. In 1910, Dr. Lionel Giles, a staff member of the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts at the British Museum in London, introduced theEnglish-speaking world to an effective translation of Sun Tzu Bing Fa, literally translated as Sun Tzu on War Methods. Lionel Giles published his translation through Luzac and Co. in London and Shanghai under the more commercial title, Sun Tzu on the Art of War. Although written in 1910, this translation of Sun Tzu's work continues to be the standard from which other English translations of the Artof War are measured. Dr. Lionel Giles had both a solid background in military affairs and was fluent in Chinese where he served as a representative of the British government. He was uniquely qualified to translate the Art of War in a way that would explain what Sun Tzu meant with each of his passages. The following, without commentary, is the Dr. Giles translation: as it appeared in the copy oforiginal Luzac and Co. book pictured here.
I. LAYING PLANS
1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. 2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. 3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be takeninto account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. 4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline. 5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger. 7. Heaven signifies night and day,cold and heat, times and seasons. 8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death. 9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness. 10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank amongthe officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure. 11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail. 12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:—www.artofwarsuntzu.com
SUN TZU ON T2 ART OF WAR HE
13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is therethe greater constancy both in reward and punishment? 14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat. 15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:—let such a one be dismissed! 16. While heading the profit of my counsel,avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. 17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans. 18. All warfare is based on deception. 19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him...
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