Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu (/ˈsuːnˈdzuː/;[1] Chinese: 孫子; Pinyin transliteration Sunzi) was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes.[2] Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzu by which he is best known in the Western World is an honorific which means "Master Sun".

Sun Tzu's historicity is uncertain. The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian and other traditional Chinese historians placed him as a minister to King Helü of Wu and dated his lifetime to 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the extant text of The Art of War in the later Warring States period based on its style of composition and its descriptions of warfare.[3] Traditional accounts state that the general's descendant Sun Bin wrote a treatise on military tactics, also titled The Art of War. Since Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese texts, some historians believed them identical, prior to the rediscovery of Sun Bin's treatise in 1972.

Sun Tzu's work has been praised and employed in East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well. It continues to influence many competitive endeavors in the world, including culture, politics, business and sports, as well as modern warfare.[4][5][6][7]

Sun Tzu
Statue of Sun Tzu in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan
Statue of Sun Tzu in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan
Born544 BC (traditional)
Qi or Wu, Zhou Kingdom
Died496 BC (traditional)
OccupationMilitary general, tactician, writer, philosopher
PeriodSpring and Autumn
SubjectMilitary strategy
Notable worksThe Art of War
Sun Tzu
Sunzi (Chinese characters)
"Sun Tzu" in ancient seal script (top), regular Traditional (middle) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Wade–GilesSun¹ Tzŭ³
Hanyu PinyinSūnzǐ
Literal meaning"Master Sun"
Sun Wu
Wade–GilesSun¹ Wu³
Hanyu PinyinSūn Wǔ
Hanyu PinyinChángqīng
Vietnamese name
VietnameseTôn Vũ
Korean name
Japanese name


Inscribed bamboo-slips of Art of War
The Yinqueshan Han Slips unearthed in 1972 include Sun Tzu's Art of War, collection of Shandong Museum

The oldest available sources disagree as to where Sun Tzu was born. The Spring and Autumn Annals states that Sun Tzu was born in Qi,[8] while Sima Qian's later Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) states that Sun Tzu was a native of Wu.[9] Both sources agree that Sun Tzu was born in the late Spring and Autumn period and that he was active as a general and strategist, serving king Helü of Wu in the late sixth century BC, beginning around 512 BC. Sun Tzu's victories then inspired him to write The Art of War. The Art of War was one of the most widely read military treatises in the subsequent Warring States period, a time of constant war among seven ancient Chinese states – Zhao, Qi, Qin, Chu, Han, Wei, and Yan – who fought to control the vast expanse of fertile territory in Eastern China.[10]

One of the more well-known stories about Sun Tzu, taken from Sima Qian, illustrates Sun Tzu's temperament as follows: Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King of Wu tested Sun Tzu's skills by commanding him to train a harem of 360 concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointing the two concubines most favored by the king as the company commanders. When Sun Tzu first ordered the concubines to face right, they giggled. In response, Sun Tzu said that the general, in this case himself, was responsible for ensuring that soldiers understood the commands given to them. Then, he reiterated the command, and again the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu then ordered the execution of the king's two favored concubines, to the king's protests. He explained that if the general's soldiers understood their commands but did not obey, it was the fault of the officers. Sun Tzu also said that, once a general was appointed, it was his duty to carry out his mission, even if the king protested. After both concubines were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies, now well aware of the costs of further frivolity, performed their maneuvers flawlessly.[11]

Sima Qian claimed that Sun Tzu later proved on the battlefield that his theories were effective (for example, at the Battle of Boju), that he had a successful military career, and that he wrote The Art of War based on his tested expertise.[11] However, the Zuozhuan, a historical text written centuries earlier than the Shiji, provides a much more detailed account of the Battle of Boju, but does not mention Sun Tzu at all.[12]


Beginning around the 12th century, some scholars began to doubt the historical existence of Sun Tzu, primarily on the grounds that he is not mentioned in the historical classic Zuo zhuan, which mentions most of the notable figures from the Spring and Autumn period.[13] The name "Sun Wu" (孫武) does not appear in any text prior to the Shiji,[14] and may have been a made-up descriptive cognomen meaning "the fugitive warrior": the surname "Sun" can be glossed as the related term "fugitive" (xùn ), while "Wu" is the ancient Chinese virtue of "martial, valiant" ( ), which corresponds to Sun Tzu's role as the hero's doppelgänger in the story of Wu Zixu.[15] The only historical battle attributed to Sun Tzu, the Battle of Boju, has no record of him fighting in that battle.[16]

Battle of Boju
Situation during the Battle of Boju

Skeptics cite possible historical inaccuracies and anachronisms in the text, and that the book was actually a compilation from different authors and military strategists. Attribution of the authorship of The Art of War varies among scholars and has included people and movements including Sun; Chu scholar Wu Zixu; an anonymous author; a school of theorists in Qi or Wu; Sun Bin; and others.[17] Sun Bin appears to have been an actual person who was a genuine authority on military matters, and may have been the inspiration for the creation of the historical figure "Sun Tzu" through a form of euhemerism.[15] The name Sun Wu does appear in later sources such as the Shiji and the Wu Yue Chunqiu, but were written centuries after Sun Tzu's era.[18]

The use of the strips in other works however, such as The Methods of the Sima is considered proof of Sun Tzu's historical priority.[19] According to Ralph Sawyer, it is very likely Sun Tzu did exist and not only served as a general but also wrote the core of the book that bears his name.[20] It is argued that there is a disparity between the large-scale wars and sophisticated techniques detailed in the text and the more primitive small-scale battles that many believe predominated in China during the 6th century BC. Against this, Sawyer argues that the teachings of Sun Wu were probably taught to succeeding generations in his family or a small school of disciples, which eventually included Sun Bin. These descendants or students may have revised or expanded upon certain points in the original text.[20]

Skeptics who identify issues with the traditionalist view point to possible anachronisms in The Art of War including terms, technology (such as anachronistic crossbows and the unmentioned cavalry), philosophical ideas, events, and military techniques that should not have been available to Sun Wu.[21][22] Additionally, there are no records of professional generals during the Spring and Autumn period; these are only extant from the Warring States period, so there is doubt as to Sun Tzu's rank and generalship.[22] This caused much confusion as to when The Art of War was actually written. The first traditional view is that it was written in 512 BC by the historical Sun Wu, active in the last years of the Spring and Autumn period (c. 722–481 BC). A second view, held by scholars such as Samuel Griffith, places The Art of War during the middle to late Warring States period (c. 481–221 BC). Finally, a third school claims that the slips were published in the last half of the 5th century BC; this is based on how its adherents interpret the bamboo slips discovered at Yinque Shan in 1972 AD.[23]

The Art of War

Bamboo book - binding - UCR
A copy of The Art of War written on bamboo

The Art of War is traditionally ascribed to Sun Tzu. It presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and has been frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally.[24]

There are numerous theories concerning when the text was completed and concerning the identity of the author or authors, but archeological recoveries show The Art of War had taken roughly its current form by at least the early Han.[25] Because it is impossible to prove definitively when the Art of War was completed before this date, the differing theories concerning the work's author or authors and date of completion are unlikely to be completely resolved.[26] Some modern scholars believe that it contains not only the thoughts of its original author but also commentary and clarifications from later military theorists, such as Li Quan and Du Mu.

Of the military texts written before the unification of China and Shi Huangdi's subsequent book burning in the second century BC, six major works have survived. During the much later Song dynasty, these six works were combined with a Tang text into a collection called the Seven Military Classics. As a central part of that compilation, The Art of War formed the foundations of orthodox military theory in early modern China. Illustrating this point, the book was required reading to pass the tests for imperial appointment to military positions.[27]

Sun Tzu's The Art of War uses language that may be unusual in a Western text on warfare and strategy.[28] For example, the eleventh chapter states that a leader must be "serene and inscrutable" and capable of comprehending "unfathomable plans". The text contains many similar remarks that have long confused Western readers lacking an awareness of the East Asian context. The meanings of such statements are clearer when interpreted in the context of Taoist thought and practice. Sun Tzu viewed the ideal general as an enlightened Taoist master, which has led to The Art of War being considered a prime example of Taoist strategy.

The book has also become popular among political leaders and those in business management. Despite its title, The Art of War addresses strategy in a broad fashion, touching upon public administration and planning. The text outlines theories of battle, but also advocates diplomacy and the cultivation of relationships with other nations as essential to the health of a state.[24]

On April 10, 1972, the Yinqueshan Han Tombs were accidentally unearthed by construction workers in Shandong.[29][30] Scholars uncovered a collection of ancient texts written on unusually well-preserved bamboo slips. Among them were The Art of War and Sun Bin's Military Methods.[30] Although Han dynasty bibliographies noted the latter publication as extant and written by a descendant of Sun, it had previously been lost. The rediscovery of Sun Bin's work is regarded as extremely important by scholars, both because of Sun Bin's relationship to Sun Tzu and because of the work's addition to the body of military thought in Chinese late antiquity.[31] The discovery as a whole significantly expanded the body of surviving Warring States military theory. Sun Bin's treatise is the only known military text surviving from the Warring States period discovered in the twentieth century and bears the closest similarity to The Art of War of all surviving texts.


Sun Tzu's Art of War has influenced many notable figures. The Chinese historian Sima Qian recounted that China's first historical emperor, Qin's Shi Huangdi, considered the book invaluable in ending the time of the Warring States. In the 20th century, the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong partially credited his 1949 victory over Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang to The Art of War. The work strongly influenced Mao's writings about guerrilla warfare, which further influenced communist insurgencies around the world.[32]

The Art of War was introduced into Japan c. AD 760 and the book quickly became popular among Japanese generals. Through its later influence on Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu,[32] it significantly affected the unification of Japan in the early modern era. Before the Meiji Restoration, mastery of its teachings was honored among the samurai and its teachings were both exhorted and exemplified by influential daimyōs and shōguns. It remained popular among the Imperial Japanese armed forces. The Admiral of the Fleet Tōgō Heihachirō, who led Japan's forces to victory in the Russo-Japanese War, who was an avid reader of Sun Tzu.[33]

Ho Chi Minh translated the work for his Vietnamese officers to study. His general Võ Nguyên Giáp, the strategist behind victories over French and American forces in Vietnam, was likewise an avid student and practitioner of Sun Tzu's ideas.[34][35][36]

America's Asian conflicts against Japan, North Korea, and North Vietnam brought Sun Tzu to the attention of American military leaders. The Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, has directed all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war. The Art of War is mentioned as an example of works to be maintained at each facility, and staff duty officers are obliged to prepare short papers for presentation to other officers on their readings.[37] Similarly, Sun Tzu's Art of War is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program.[38] During the Gulf War in the 1990s, both Generals Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. and Colin Powell employed principles from Sun Tzu related to deception, speed, and striking one's enemy's weak points.[32] However, the United States and other Western countries have been criticised for not truly understanding Sun Tzu's work and not appreciating The Art of War within the wider context of Chinese society.[39]

Daoist rhetoric is a component incorporated in the Art of War. According to Steven C. Combs in "Sun-zi and the Art of War: The Rhetoric of Parsimony",[40] warfare is "used as a metaphor for rhetoric, and that both are philosophically based arts."[40] Combs writes "Warfare is analogous to persuasion, as a battle for hearts and minds."[40] The application of The Art of War strategies throughout history is attributed to its philosophical rhetoric. Daoism is the central principle in the Art of War. Combs compares ancient Daoist Chinese to traditional Aristotelian rhetoric, notably for the differences in persuasion. Daoist rhetoric in the art of war warfare strategies is described as "peaceful and passive, favoring silence over speech".[40] This form of communication is parsimonious. Parsimonious behavior, which is highly emphasized in The Art of War as avoiding confrontation and being spiritual in nature, shapes basic principles in Daoism.[41]

Mark McNeilly writes in Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare that a modern interpretation of Sun and his importance throughout Chinese history is critical in understanding China's push to becoming a superpower in the twenty-first century. Modern Chinese scholars explicitly rely on historical strategic lessons and The Art of War in developing their theories, seeing a direct relationship between their modern struggles and those of China in Sun Tzu's time. There is a great perceived value in Sun Tzu's teachings and other traditional Chinese writers, which are used regularly in developing the strategies of the Chinese state and its leaders.[42]

In 2008, the Chinese television producer Zhang Jizhong adapted Sun Tzu's life story into a 40-episode historical drama television series entitled Bing Sheng, starring Zhu Yawen as Sun Tzu.[43]

In 2018 English youth soccer coach Liam Shannon launched Sun Tzu Soccer[44], a project based on his 2012 book Sun Tzu Soccer: The Art of War in Soccer Language & Scenarios. The book is a direct translation of the 2003 Lionel Giles and Barnes & Nobel Classic edition of The Art of War, translated in to soccer terminology. Shannon presented his work at the United Soccer Coaches National Convention on January 15th, 2015, to a full audience.[45] Sun Tzu Soccer has been endorsed by fellow Sun Tzu author Mark McNeilly, who stated: "Sun Tzu Soccer gives coaches and players a time-tested formula for victory on the soccer field."[46]


  1. ^ "Sun Tzu". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (2013).
  2. ^ Ancient warfare edited by John Carman and Anthony Harding, page 41
  3. ^ Sawyer, Ralph D. (2007), The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, New York: Basic Books, pp. 421–22, ISBN 978-0-465-00304-4
  4. ^ Scott, Wilson (7 March 2013), "Obama meets privately with Jewish leaders", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., archived from the original on 24 July 2013, retrieved 22 May 2013
  5. ^ "Obama to challenge Israelis on peace", United Press International, 8 March 2013, retrieved 22 May 2013
  6. ^ Garner, Rochelle (16 October 2006), "Oracle's Ellison Uses 'Art of War' in Software Battle With SAP", Bloomberg, archived from the original on October 20, 2015, retrieved 18 May 2013
  7. ^ Hack, Damon (3 February 2005), "For Patriots' Coach, War Is Decided Before Game", The New York Times, retrieved 18 May 2013
  8. ^ Sawyer 2007, p. 151.
  9. ^ Sawyer 2007, p. 153.
  10. ^ McNeilly 2001, pp. 3–4.
  11. ^ a b Bradford 2000, pp. 134–35.
  12. ^ Zuo Qiuming, "Duke Ding", Zuo Zhuan (in Chinese and English), XI
  13. ^ Gawlikowski & Loewe (1993), p. 447.
  14. ^ Mair (2007), p. 9.
  15. ^ a b Mair, Victor H. (2007). The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-0-231-13382-1.
  16. ^ Worthington, Daryl (2015-03-13). "The Art of War". New Historian. Archived from the original on March 3, 2019. March 13, 2015
  17. ^ Sawyer 2005, pp. 34–35.
  18. ^ Sawyer 2007, pp. 176–77.
  19. ^ Sawyer 1994, pp. 149–50.
  20. ^ a b Sawyer 2007, pp. 150–51.
  21. ^ Yang, Sang. The Art of War. Wordsworth Editions Ltd (December 5, 1999). pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-1853267796
  22. ^ a b Szczepanski, Kallie. "Sun Tzu and the Art of War". Asian History. February 04, 2015
  23. ^ Morrow, Nicholas (February 4, 2015). "Sun Tzu, The Art of War (c. 500–300 B.C.)". Classics of Strategy.
  24. ^ a b McNeilly 2001, p. 5.
  25. ^ Sawyer 2007, p. 423.
  26. ^ Sawyer 2007, p. 150.
  27. ^ Sawyer 1994, pp. 13–14.
  28. ^ Simpkins & Simpkins 1999, pp. 131–33.
  29. ^ Yinqueshan Han Bamboo Slips (in Chinese), Shandong Provincial Museum, 24 April 2008, archived from the original on 29 October 2013
  30. ^ a b Clements, Jonathan (21 June 2012), The Art of War: A New Translation, Constable & Robinson Ltd, pp. 77–78, ISBN 978-1-78033-131-7
  31. ^ 朱文章(Sydney Wen-Jang Chu) ; 李承禹(Cheng-Yu Lee) Just another Masterpiece: the Differences between Sun Tzu's the Art of War and Sun Bin's the Art of War.
  32. ^ a b c McNeilly 2001, pp. 6–7.
  33. ^ Tung 2001, p. 805.
  34. ^ "Interview with Dr. William Duiker",, retrieved 5 February 2011
  35. ^ McCready, Douglas M. (May–June 2003), "Learning from Sun Tzu", Military Review, archived from the original on 2012-06-29
  36. ^ Forbes, Andrew & Henley, David (2012), The Illustrated Art of War: Sun Tzu, Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books, ASIN B00B91XX8U
  37. ^ U.S. Army (c. 1985), Military History and Professional Development, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute, 85-CSI-21 85. The Art of War is mentioned for each unit's acquisition in "Military History Libraries for Duty Personnel" on page 18.
  38. ^ "Marine Corps Professional Reading Program", U.S. Marine Corps
  39. ^ Hall, Gavin. "Review – Deciphering The Art of War". LSE Review of Books. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  40. ^ a b c d Combs, Steven C. (August 2000). "Sun-zi and the Art of War: The Rhetoric of Parsimony". Quarterly Journal of Speech. 86 (3): 276–94. doi:10.1080/00335630009384297.
  41. ^ Galvany, Albert (October 2011). "Philosophy, Biography, and Anecdote: On the Portrait of Sun Wu". Philosophy East and West. 61 (4): 630–46. doi:10.1353/pew.2011.0059.
  42. ^ McNeilly 2001, p. 7.
  43. ^ Bing Sheng (in Chinese),
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^[0]=68.ARB8HwFAmpfB9wFBRIYVNQnW0Nn5hJJsDvH9Nd4JQFotLDTQ_HnnolNtmWF-tkSX1hDnecYCAA_w-tgVblT36WMjslDF_dc3uoAKb2jK5e5KCtQORlUFXDAnbiC-OKknTYrcV5QL-y0Ys9LlMV8WxXoQfcYHKP82WnyesokNrtaT22_uOHyrLIAp5J2VH5TBOxvdn3c3Un8_iBF3_raMN7abjqpkAKH1QoqAwXNo0l7gyTX-qarK-m8ic253BtAffbP1-0OHdV7yhbeanwC3SnNkJU-vxiTAwgAtdLRTwl2PuwwR49I-gw8eWArkValLdusK8P2OlomYKGOYPuoNo8k&__tn__=-R


  • Ames, Roger T. (1993). Sun-tzu: The Art of Warfare: The First English Translation Incorporating the Recently Discovered Yin-chʻüeh-shan Texts. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0345362391.
  • Bradford, Alfred S. (2000), With Arrow, Sword, and Spear: A History of Warfare in the Ancient World, Praeger Publishers, ISBN 978-0-275-95259-4
  • Gawlikowski, Krzysztof; Loewe, Michael (1993). "Sun tzu ping fa 孫子兵法". In Loewe, Michael (ed.). Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide. Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China; Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. pp. 446–55. ISBN 978-1-55729-043-4.
  • McNeilly, Mark R. (2001), Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-513340-0.
  • Mair, Victor H. (2007). The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13382-1.
  • Sawyer, Ralph D. (1994), The Art of War, Westview Press, ISBN 978-0-8133-1951-3.
  • Sawyer, Ralph D. (2005), The Essential Art of War, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-07204-0.
  • Sawyer, Ralph D. (2007), The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-00304-4.
  • Simpkins, Annellen & Simpkins, C. Alexander (1999), Taoism: A Guide to Living in the Balance, Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8048-3173-4.
  • Tao, Hanzhang; Wilkinson, Robert (1998), The Art of War, Wordsworth Editions, ISBN 978-1-85326-779-6.
  • Tung, R. L. (2001), "Strategic Management Thought in East Asia", in Warner, Malcolm (ed.), Comparative Management:Critical Perspectives on Business and Management, 3, Routledge.

External links

Sun Tzu sites
Battle of Boju

The Battle of Boju (Chinese: 柏舉之戰) was the decisive battle of the war fought in 506 BC between Wu and Chu, two major kingdoms during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. The Wu forces were led by King Helü, his brother Fugai, and Chu exile Wu Zixu. According to Sima Qian's Shiji, Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War, was a main commander of the Wu army, but he was not mentioned in the Zuo Zhuan and other earlier historical texts. The Chu forces were led by Lingyin (prime minister) Nang Wa (also known as Zichang) and Sima (chief military commander) Shen Yin Shu. The Wu were victorious, and captured and destroyed the Chu capital Ying.

Bing Sheng

Bing Sheng is a 2008 Chinese television series produced by Zhang Jizhong, starring Zhu Yawen, Li Tai, Hu Jing, Zhao Yi, He Zhuoyan, Xu Huanhuan, Tu Men and Wu Ma. It is loosely based on the life of the ancient Chinese militarist Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War. It was first broadcast on Changde TV in 2009.

Dark chess

Dark chess is a chess variant with incomplete information, similar to Kriegspiel. It was invented by Jens Bæk Nielsen and Torben Osted in 1989. A player does not see the entire board, only their own pieces and the squares that they can legally move to.

From Sun Tzu to Xbox

From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games is a book of video game history by journalist and film critic Ed Halter, published in 2006. The book describes the evolution of video games from military-related technologies and contemporary video game related projects by the American military such as America's Army and Full Spectrum Warrior. The book also relates pre-video game relationship between war and games, such as the evolution of chess into kriegspiel.

Indirect approach

The Indirect approach is a military strategy described and chronicled by B. H. Liddell Hart after World War I. It was an attempt to find a solution to the problem of high casualty rates in conflict zones with high force to space ratios, such as the Western Front on which he served. The strategy calls for armies to advance along the line of least resistance.

Khoo Kheng-Hor

Khoo Kheng-Hor (Chinese: 邱庆河; pinyin: Qiū Qìnghé; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Khu Khèng-hô; born 2 March 1956) is a Malaysian author and speaker on contemporary application of the 500 BC Chinese military treatise, The Art of War, by military strategist Sun Tzu. In the 1990s, Khoo was the first Sun Tzu student in South-east Asia to link and teach the general's principles in relation to business and management. To date, Khoo has written over 26 business and management books, most of which are based on Sun Tzu's Art of War as he made it his life's mission to "suntzunize" as many people as possible. In 1997, although a Malaysian citizen, he was appointed as honorary Assistant Superintendent of Police by the Singapore Police Force in recognition for his contribution as consultant-trainer to the police force of Singapore. His first novel, Taikor, was nominated by the National Library of Malaysia for the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Since 1999, Khoo has gone into retirement and occasionally travels in Malaysia and Singapore.

Lionel Giles

Lionel Giles (29 December 1875 – 22 January 1958) was a British sinologist, writer, and philosopher. Lionel Giles served as assistant curator at the British Museum and Keeper of the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books. Lionel Giles is most notable for his 1910 translation of The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Analects of Confucius.

Giles was the son of British diplomat and sinologist Herbert Giles.

List of Chinese military texts

Chinese military texts have existed ever since Chinese civilization was founded. China's armies have long benefited from this rich strategic tradition, influenced by texts such as Sun Tzu's The Art of War, that have deeply influenced military thought. Although traditional Chinese Confucian philosophy favoured peaceful political solutions and showed contempt for brute military force, the military was influential in most Chinese states. The works of well known strategists such as Sun Tzu and Sun Bin have heavily influenced military philosophy, warfare, and political discourse throughout China's long history. Works such as The Art of War have also found a strong following around the world, where they have influenced people as far ranging as the Chinese Communist Party and the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

List of Earth starships in Stargate

In the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1 and its sequels, several types of starships are introduced in the later seasons. In the series, they are the product of several years' worth of research into alien technologies discovered on off-world missions to other planets visited via the stargate. The stargate is an alien device discovered on Earth that allows near instantaneous travel to other planets via a controlled wormhole across a network of similar gates. The stargate was created by an extinct race called the Ancients, but are in use by aliens, some of which use both stargate and starship travel. Some of these alien races are hostile to Earth and bent on galaxy-wide domination, so Earth starships are built by the US military through billions of dollars in secret funding to respond to the threat.

After several prototype models, including some failures, Earth begins constructing its own space-capable fighters and larger, mothership-style vessels. The primary source of inspiration for the early models is scavenged Goa'uld technology, which is later replaced with entirely Earth-made components as they gain the expertise to fabricate the materials. The plans for these vessels are shared with the Russians as part of the deal to use their Stargate.The first successful ship fielded by Earth is the F-302, a small, two-man craft somewhat similar to a traditional human fighter aircraft, but capable of spaceflight and interstellar travel. F-302s are the standard dogfighting attacker used by the Stargate Program. Later on, Earth begins creating interstellar battlecruisers, the first of which is the Prometheus. While the F-302 is generally a match for a Goa'uld Death Glider (and in some ways is superior), Earth battlecruisers are at first inferior to the equivalent vessels of other races. In the SG-1 finale, "Unending", the Asgard provide Earth with technology that closes this gap, making Earth ships some of the most powerful vessels in the series.

Military theory

Military theory is the analysis of normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war.

Theories and conceptions of warfare have varied in different places throughout human history. The Chinese Sun Tzu is recognized by scholars to be one of the earliest military theorists. His now-iconic Art of War laid the foundations for operational planning, tactics, strategy and logistics.

Military theories, especially since the influence of Clausewitz in the nineteenth century, attempt to encapsulate the complex cultural, political and economic relationships between societies and the conflicts they create.


A strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.

Sun (surname)

Sun is a transliteration of a common Chinese surname (simplified Chinese: 孙; traditional Chinese: 孫; pinyin: Sūn). Other transliterations include Suen (Hong Kong and regions with Cantonese-speaking populations), Sen (Amoy dialect), Sng (Teochew dialect), Tôn (Vietnamese), Son (Japanese/Korean), Soon (regions with Hokkien-speaking populations), Soon/Suan/-son/-zon (Philippines), and Swen.

Note that in Hong Kong and regions with Cantonese-speaking populations, the surname Xin (辛) is also transliterated as Sun.

Sun Bin

Sun Bin (died 316 BC) was a military strategist who lived during the Warring States period of Chinese history. An alleged descendant of Sun Tzu, Sun Bin was tutored in military strategy by the hermit Guiguzi. He was accused of treason while serving in the Wei state and was sentenced to face-tattooing (criminal branding) and had his kneecaps removed, permanently crippling him. Sun escaped from Wei later and rose to prominence in the Qi state, by serving as a military strategist and commander. He led Qi to victory against the Wei state at the Battle of Guiling and Battle of Maling. Sun authored the military treatise Sun Bin's Art of War, which was rediscovered in a 1972 archaeological excavation after being lost for almost 2000 years.

Sun Bin's Art of War

Sun Bin's Art of War is an ancient Chinese classic work on military strategy written by Sun Bin, an alleged descendant of Sun Tzu who served as a military strategist in the Qi state during the Warring States period. According to historical records from the Han Dynasty, Sun Bin's Art of War contained an extensive 89 chapters, with four volumes of pictures attached, but was lost by the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. As a consequence, Sun Bin's Art of War is sometimes conflated with Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

Sunzi Suanjing

Sunzi Suanjing (Chinese: 孙子算经; pinyin: Sūnzĭ Suànjīng; Wade–Giles: Sun Tzu Suan Ching; literally: 'The Mathematical Classic of Master Sun/Master Sun's Mathematical Manual') was a mathematical treatise written during 3rd to 5th centuries AD which was listed as one of the Ten Computational Canons during the Tang dynasty. The specific identity of its author Sunzi (lit. "Master Sun") is still unknown but he lived much later than eponymous Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War. From the textual evidence in the book, some scholars concluded that the work was completed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties. Besides describing arithmetic methods and investigating Diophantine equations, the treatise touches upon astronomy and attempts to develop a calendar.

The 50th Law

The 50th Law is a New York Times bestselling book on strategy and fearlessness written collaboratively by rapper 50 Cent and author Robert Greene. The book is a semi-autobiographical account detailing 50 Cent's rise as both a young urban hustler and as an up-and-coming musician with lessons and anecdotes from historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Sun Tzu, Socrates, Napoleon, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

The Art of War

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu ("Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi), is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to an aspect of warfare and how it applies to military strategy and tactics. For almost 1,500 years it was the lead text in an anthology that would be formalised as the Seven Military Classics by Emperor Shenzong of Song in 1080. The Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced both Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy, lifestyles and beyond.

The book contained a detailed explanation and analysis of the Chinese military, from weapons and strategy to rank and discipline. Sun Tzu also stressed the importance of intelligence operatives and espionage to the war effort. Because Sun Tzu has long been considered to be one of history's finest military tacticians and analysts, his teachings and strategies formed the basis of advanced military training for centuries to come.

The book was translated into French and published in 1772 (re-published in 1782) by the French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot. A partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905 under the title The Book of War. The first annotated English translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910. Military and political leaders such as the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, Japanese daimyō Takeda Shingen, Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap, and American military general Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. have drawn inspiration from the book.

The Art of War (Sabaton album)

The Art of War is the fourth album by Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton.

The album is based on the ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War written by General Sun Tzu in the 6th Century BC. It consists of 13 chapters, each of which describe a different aspect of warfare, and is considered the definitive work on military tactics and strategies of its time. The tracks on the album correspond to each chapter of treatise. The lyrics of the songs are about famous battles or war, mostly based on the battles of the First and Second World Wars where Sun Tzu's tactics were applied.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinSūnzǐ
Bopomofoㄙㄨㄣ   ㄗˇ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhSuentzyy
Wade–GilesSun¹ Tzŭ³
Yale RomanizationSwūndž
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationSyūnjí
Southern Min
Hokkien POJSun-chú
Middle Chinese
Middle Chinesesuən t͡sɨX
Old Chinese
Baxter–Sagart (2014)*[s]ˤu[n] tsəʔ
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinSūn Wǔ
Bopomofoㄙㄨㄣ   ㄨˇ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhSuen Wuu
Wade–GilesSun¹ Wu³
Yale RomanizationSwūn Wǔ
MPS2Suēn Wǔ
IPA[swə́n ù]
Middle Chinese
Middle Chinesesuən mɨoX
Old Chinese
Baxter–Sagart (2014)*[s]ˤu[n] m(r)aʔ
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinChángqīng
Bopomofoㄔㄤˊ   ㄑㄧㄥ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhCharngching
Yale RomanizationChángchīng
Middle Chinese
Middle Chineseɖɨɐŋ kʰˠiæŋ
Old Chinese
Baxter–Sagart (2014)*Cə-[N]-traŋ C.qʰraŋ
Revised RomanizationSonmu
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