孫子 (The Art of War) 孫武 (Sun Wu)
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu (also referred to as "Sun Wu" and "Sunzi"), a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, and it was believed to have been compiled during the late Spring and Autumn period or early Warring States period. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China's Seven Military Classics, and: "for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name." It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.
The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and a partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910. Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, General Douglas MacArthur and leaders of Imperial Japan have drawn inspiration from the work.
Verses from the book occur in modern daily Chinese idioms and phrases, such as the last verse of Chapter 3:
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
This has been more tersely interpreted and condensed into the Chinese modern proverb:
If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win numerous (literally, "a hundred") battles without jeopardy.
Common examples can also be found in English use, such as verse 18 in Chapter 1:
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
This has been abbreviated to its most basic form and condensed into the English modern proverb:
All warfare is based on deception.
^ "Zi" (子; "Tzu" in Wade-Giles transliteration) was used as a suffix for the family name of a respectable man in ancient Chinese culture. It is a rough equivalent to "Sir" and is commonly translated into English as "Master".
^ a b c Griffith, Samuel B. The Illustrated Art of War. 2005. Oxford University Press. p. 17, 141-143.
^ Sawyer, Ralph D. The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. New York: Basic Books. 2007. p. 149.
^ a b Giles, Lionel The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Special Edition. Special Edition Books. 2007. p. 62.