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''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late
Spring and Autumn Period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
(roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
("Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi), is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to a different set of skills (or "art") related to
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
fare and how it applies to
military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the s of a so as to offer such as a may require. In some countries forces are included in a nati ...
and
tactics Tactic(s) or Tactical may refer to: * Tactic (method), a conceptual action implemented as one or more specific tasks ** Military tactics, the disposition and maneuver of units on a particular sea or battlefield ** Chess tactics ** Political tactic ...
. For almost 1,500 years it was the lead text in an anthology that was formalized as the
Seven Military Classics The Seven Military Classics () were seven important military texts of ancient China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most po ...
by
Emperor Shenzong of Song Emperor Shenzong of Song (25 May 1048 – 1 April 1085), personal name Zhao Xu, was the sixth Emperor of China, emperor of the Song dynasty of History of China, China. His original personal name was Zhao Zhongzhen but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" ...
in 1080. ''The Art of War'' remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced both
Far Eastern The Far East is a geographical region that includes East Asia, East and Southeast Asia as well as the Russian Far East. South Asia is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons. The term "Far East" came into use in European geopoli ...

Far Eastern
and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy, lifestyles and beyond. The book contains a detailed explanation and analysis of the 5th-century Chinese military, from weapons and strategy to rank and discipline. Sun also stressed the importance of intelligence operatives and espionage to the war effort. Considered one of history's finest military tacticians and analysts, his teachings and strategies formed the basis of advanced military training for millennia to come. The book was translated into
French
French
and published in 1772 (re-published in 1782) by the French
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
Jean Joseph Marie Amiot Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (sometimes Amyot; ; February 1718October 9, 1793) was a French Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that ...
. 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 Lionel Giles (29 December 1875 – 22 January 1958) was a British sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in ...
in 1910. ''The Art of War by Sun Tzu – Special Edition''. Special Edition Books. 2007. p. 62. Military and political leaders such as the Chinese communist revolutionary
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
, Japanese
Takeda Shingen , of Kai Province, was a pre-eminent ''daimyō'' in feudal Japan. Known as the "Tiger of Kai", He was one of the most powerful daimyōs with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period. Shingen had been a 'Warlord' of ...

Takeda Shingen
, Vietnamese general Võ Nguyên Giáp, and American military general Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. are all cited as having drawn inspiration from the book.


History


Text and commentaries

''The Art of War'' is traditionally attributed to an ancient Chinese military general known as
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
(now romanized "Sunzi"), meaning "Master Sun". Sun Tzu was traditionally said to have lived in the 6th century BC, but ''The Art of War'' earliest parts probably date to at least 100 years later.
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
's ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'', the first of China's 24 dynastic histories, records an early Chinese tradition that a text on military matters was written by one "Sun Wu" () from the
State of Qi Qi was a state of the Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ) was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and ...
, and that this text had been read and studied by
King Helü of Wu of the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population choos ...
(). This text was traditionally identified with the received ''Master Sun's Art of War''. The conventional view was that Sun Wu was a military theorist from the end of the
Spring and Autumn period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
(776–471 BC) who fled his home state of Qi to the southeastern kingdom of Wu, where he is said to have impressed the king with his ability to train even "dainty palace ladies" in warfare and to have made Wu's armies powerful enough to challenge their western rivals in the
state of Chu Chu (, Hanyu Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Latin script, Roman ( ...
. This view is still widely held in China. The strategist, poet, and warlord
Cao Cao Cao Cao (; ; ; – 15 March 220), courtesy name Mengde (), was a Chinese warlord, statesman and poet. He was the penultimate Grand chancellor (China), grand chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty who rose to great power in the End of the Han ...
in the early 3rd century AD authored the earliest known commentary to the ''Art of War''. Cao's preface makes clear that he edited the text and removed certain passages, but the extent of his changes were unclear historically. ''The Art of War'' appears throughout the bibliographical catalogs of the Chinese dynastic histories, but listings of its divisions and size varied widely.


Authorship

Beginning around the 12th century, some Chinese scholars began to doubt the historical existence of Sun Tzu, primarily on the grounds that he is not mentioned in the historical classic ''The Commentary of Zuo'' (''
Zuo Zhuan The ''Zuo Zhuan'' (; ), generally translated ''The Zuo Tradition'' or ''The Commentary of Zuo'', is an ancient Chinese narrative history that is traditionally regarded as a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle ''Spring and Autumn Annals ...

Zuo Zhuan
''), which mentions most of the notable figures from the
Spring and Autumn period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
. The name "Sun Wu" () does not appear in any text prior to the ''Records of the Grand Historian'', and has been suspected to be a made-up descriptive cognomen meaning "the fugitive warrior": the surname "Sun" is glossed as the related term "fugitive" (, ), while "Wu" is the ancient Chinese virtue of "martial, valiant" (, ), which corresponds to Sunzi's role as the hero's
doppelgänger A doppelgänger (; , literally "double-walker") or doppelganger is a biologically unrelated look-alike, or a double, of a living person. In fiction and mythology, a doppelgänger is often portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usual ...
in the story of
Wu Zixu :''Note: names are in simplified characters followed by traditional and Pinyin transliteration.'' Wu Yun (died 484 BC), better known by his courtesy name Zixu, was a general and politician of the Wu (state), Wu kingdom in the Spring and Autumn per ...
. In the early 20th century, the Chinese writer and reformer
Liang Qichao Liang Qichao (February 23, 1873 – January 19, 1929) was a Chinese social and political activist, journalist, and intellectual who lived during the late Qing dynasty and the early Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China. His thou ...

Liang Qichao
theorized that the text was actually written in the 4th century BC by Sun Tzu's purported descendant
Sun Bin Sun Bin (died 316 BC) was a Chinese general, Military strategy, military strategist, and writer who lived during the Warring States period of History of China, Chinese history. A supposed descendant of Sun Tzu, Sun was tutored in military stra ...

Sun Bin
, as a number of historical sources mention a military treatise he wrote. Unlike Sun Wu, 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 Euhemerism () is an approach to the interpretation of mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture o ...
. In 1972, the
Yinqueshan Han slips The Yinqueshan Han Slips () are ancient Chinese writing tablets from the Western Han Dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House ...
were discovered in two
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
(206 BC – 220 AD) tombs near the city of
Linyi Linyi () is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of C ...

Linyi
in
Shandong Province Shandong (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China and is part of the East China region. Shandong has played a major role in History ...
. Among the many bamboo slip writings contained in the tombs, which had been sealed between 134 and 118 BC, respectively were two separate texts, one attributed to "Sun Tzu", corresponding to the received text, and another attributed to Sun Bin, which explains and expands upon the earlier ''The Art of War'' by Sunzi. The Sun Bin text's material overlaps with much of the "Sun Tzu" text, and the two may be "a single, continuously developing intellectual tradition united under the Sun name". This discovery showed that much of the historical confusion was due to the fact that there were two texts that could have been referred to as "Master Sun's Art of War", not one. The content of the earlier text is about one-third of the chapters of the modern ''The Art of War'', and their text matches very closely. It is now generally accepted that the earlier ''The Art of War'' was completed sometime between 500 and 430 BC.


The 13 chapters

''The Art of War'' is divided into 13 chapters (or ); the collection is referred to as being one ("whole" or alternatively "chronicle"). } , First Calculations , Explores the five fundamental factors (the Way, seasons, terrain, leadership, and management) and seven elements that determine the outcomes of military engagements. By thinking, assessing and comparing these points, a commander can calculate his chances of victory. Habitual deviation from these calculations will ensure failure via improper action. The text stresses that war is a very grave matter for the state and must not be commenced without due consideration. , - , II , Waging War , The Challenge , Waging War , ) , Initiating Battle , Explains how to understand the economy of warfare and how success requires winning decisive engagements quickly. This section advises that successful military campaigns require limiting the cost of competition and conflict. , - , III , Attack by Stratagem , The Plan of Attack , Planning Offensives , ) , Planning an Attack , Defines the source of strength as unity, not size, and discusses the five factors that are needed to succeed in any war. In order of importance, these critical factors are: Attack, Strategy, Alliances, Army and Cities. , - , IV , Tactical Dispositions , Positioning , Military Disposition , ) , Forms to Perceive , Explains the importance of defending existing positions until a commander is capable of advancing from those positions in safety. It teaches commanders the importance of recognizing strategic opportunities, and teaches not to create opportunities for the enemy. , - , V , Use of Energy , Directing , Strategic Military Power , ) , The Disposition of Power , Explains the use of creativity and timing in building an army's momentum. , - , VI , Weak Points and Strong , Illusion and Reality , Vacuity and Substance , ) , Weak and Strong , Explains how an army's opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of the enemy and how to respond to changes in the fluid battlefield over a given area. , - , VII , Maneuvering an Army , Engaging The Force , Military Combat , ) , Contending Armies , Explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon the commander. , - , VIII , Variation of Tactics , The Nine Variations , Nine Changes , ) , Nine Contingencies , Focuses on the need for flexibility in an army's responses. It explains how to respond to shifting circumstances successfully. , - , IX , The Army on the March , Moving The Force , Maneuvering the Army , ) , Fielding the Army , Describes the different situations in which an army finds itself as it moves through new enemy territories, and how to respond to these situations. Much of this section focuses on evaluating the intentions of others. , - , X , Classification of Terrain , Situational Positioning , Configurations of Terrain , ) , Conformations of the Lands , Looks at the three general areas of resistance (distance, dangers and barriers) and the six types of ground positions that arise from them. Each of these six field positions offers certain advantages and disadvantages. , - , XI , The Nine Situations , The Nine Situations , Nine Terrains , ) , Nine Kinds of Ground , Describes the nine common situations (or stages) in a campaign, from scattering to deadly, and the specific focus that a commander will need in order to successfully navigate them. , - , XII , Attack by Fire , The Fiery Attack , Incendiary Attacks , ) , Attacks with Fire , Explains the general use of weapons and the specific use of the environment as a weapon. This section examines the five targets for attack, the five types of environmental attack and the appropriate responses to such attacks. , - , XIII , Use of Spies , The Use of Intelligence , Employing Spies , ) , Using Spies , Focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, and specifies the five types of intelligence sources and how to best manage each of them.


Cultural influence


Military and intelligence applications

Across
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
, ''The Art of War'' was part of the syllabus for potential candidates of military service examinations. During the
Sengoku period The is a period in History of Japan, Japanese history of near-constant civil war, social upheaval, and intrigue from 1467 to 1615. The Sengoku period was initiated by the Ōnin War in 1467 which collapsed the Feudalism, feudal system of Japan ...
(), the Japanese
Takeda Shingen , of Kai Province, was a pre-eminent ''daimyō'' in feudal Japan. Known as the "Tiger of Kai", He was one of the most powerful daimyōs with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period. Shingen had been a 'Warlord' of ...

Takeda Shingen
(1521–1573) is said to have become almost invincible in all battles without relying on
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gun
s, because he studied ''The Art of War''. ''The Illustrated Art of War''. 2005. Oxford University Press. pp. 17, 141–43. The book even gave him the inspiration for his famous battle standard (Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain), meaning fast as the wind, silent as a forest, ferocious as fire and immovable as a mountain. The translator
Samuel B. Griffith Brigadier General Samuel Blair Griffith II (May 31, 1906 – March 27, 1983), was an officer and commander in the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, ...
offers a chapter on "Sun Tzu and Mao Tse-Tung" where ''The Art of War'' is cited as influencing Mao's ''
On Guerrilla Warfare ''On Guerrilla Warfare'' () is Mao Zedong Mao Zedong (; pronounced , (formerly Romanization of Chinese, romanized as Mao Tse-tung), December 26, 1893September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese Communism, communist revolu ...
'', '' On the Protracted War'' and ''Strategic Problems of China's Revolutionary War'', and includes Mao's quote: "We must not belittle the saying in the book of Sun Wu Tzu, the great military expert of ancient China, 'Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a thousand battles without disaster." During the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
, some
Vietcong The Viet Cong ( vi, Việt Cộng; ), officially known as the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam ( vi, Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng Miền Nam Việt Nam), was an armed communist political revolutionary organization in South ...
officers extensively studied ''The Art of War'' and reportedly could recite entire passages from memory. General Võ Nguyên Giáp successfully implemented tactics described in ''The Art of War'' during the
Battle of Dien Bien Phu The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (french: Bataille de Diên Biên Phu ; vi, Chiến dịch Điện Biên Phủ, ) was a climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War that took place between 13 March and 7 May 1954. It was fought between the Fre ...
ending major French involvement in Indochina and leading to the accords which partitioned Vietnam into North and South. General Võ, later the main PVA military commander in the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
, was an avid student and practitioner of Sun Tzu's ideas.McCready, Douglas. Learning from Sun Tzu, ''Military Review'', May–June 2003. America's defeat there, more than any other event, brought Sun Tzu to the attention of leaders of U.S. military theory. The Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, lists ''The Art of War'' as one example of a book that may be kept at a military unit's library. ''The Art of War'' is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant's Reading List). It is recommended reading for all United States Military Intelligence personnel. ''The Art of War'' is used as instructional material at the
US Military Academy The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on ...
at
West Point The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point or simply Army is a four-year United States service academy in West Point, New York West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United Stat ...
, in the course Military Strategy (470), and it is also recommended reading for Officer cadets at the
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS or RMA Sandhurst), commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is one of several military academies A military academy or service academy (United States service academies, in the United States) is an ed ...
. Some notable military leaders have stated the following about Sun Tzu and ''The Art of War'': According to some authors, the strategy of
deception Deception or falsehood is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage. Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda and sleight ...
from ''The Art of War'' was studied and widely used by the
KGB The KGB ( rus, links=no, Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), a=ru-KGB.ogg, p=kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪn(ː)əj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ, Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), translated ...
: "I will force the enemy to take our strength for weakness, and our weakness for strength, and thus will turn his strength into weakness".
Yevgenia Albats Yevgenia Markovna Albats (russian: Евге́ния Ма́рковна Альба́ц, born 5 September 1958
and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. ''The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia – Past, Present, and Future.'' 1994. , chapter ''Who was behind perestroika?''
The book is widely cited by KGB officers in charge of
disinformation Disinformation is false or misleading information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. The c ...
operations in Vladimir Volkoff's novel ''Le Montage''. Finnish Field Marshal and general
Aksel Airo Aksel Fredrik Airo (14 February 1898 – 9 May 1985) was a Finnish lieutenant general Lieutenant general or lieutenant-general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a Three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-9) used in many countries. T ...

Aksel Airo
were avid readers of ''Art of War''; Airo kept the book on his bedside table in his quarters.


Application outside the military

''The Art of War'' has been applied to many fields outside of the military. Much of the text is about how to outsmart one's opponent without actually having to engage in physical battle. As such, it has found application as a training guide for many competitive endeavors that do not involve actual combat. ''The Art of War'' is mentioned as an influence in the earliest known Chinese collection of stories about fraud (mostly in the realm of commerce), Zhang Yingyu's
The Book of Swindles ''The Book of Swindles'' (''Piàn jīng'' 騙經), also known by its longer title, ''A New Book for Foiling Swindlers, Based on Worldly Experience'' (''Jiānghú lìlǎn dùpiàn xīnshū'' 江湖歷覽杜騙新書), is said to be the first Chinese ...
(, , ), which dates to the late
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
. Many business books have applied the lessons taken from the book to
office politics Workplace politics is the process and behavior that in human interactions involving power and authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interact ...
and corporate business strategy. Many Japanese companies make the book required reading for their key
executives Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
. The book is also popular among Western business circles citing its utilitarian values regarding management practices. Many entrepreneurs and corporate executives have turned to it for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive business situations. The book has also been applied to the field of education. ''The Art of War'' has been the subject of legal books and legal articles on the trial process, including negotiation tactics and trial strategy. The book ''
The 48 Laws of Power ''The 48 Laws of Power'' (1998) is a non-fiction book by American author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who ori ...
'' by Robert Greene employs philosophies covered in ''The Art of War''. ''The Art of War'' has also been applied in sports.
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any s ...
coach
Bill Belichick William Stephen "Bill" Belichick (; born April 16, 1952) is an American professional American football, football coach who serves as the head coach#National Football League, head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football Leagu ...

Bill Belichick
, record holder of the most
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday ...
wins in history, has stated on multiple occasions his admiration for ''The Art of War''.
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
ian
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
coach
Luiz Felipe Scolari Luiz Felipe Scolari, ComIH (; born 9 November 1948), is a Brazilian professional football Football is a family of team sport A team is a 2002 2002_was_designated_as_the_International_Year_of__Ecotourism_and_the_International_Year ...
actively used ''The Art of War'' for Brazil's successful
2002 World Cup The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th FIFA World Cup The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a ...
campaign. During the tournament Scolari put passages of ''The Art of War'' underneath his players' doors in the night. ''The Art of War'' is often quoted while developing tactics and/or strategy in
esports Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a form of competition using video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joy ...
. "Play To Win" by David Sirlin analyses applications of the ideas from ''The Art of War'' in modern esports. ''The Art of War'' was released in 2014 as an
e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, ...

e-book
companion alongside the Art of War DLC for
Europa Universalis IV ''Europa Universalis IV'' is a grand strategy video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or m ...
, a PC strategy game by Paradox Development Studios, with a foreword by Thomas Johansson.


Film and television

''The Art of War'' and Sun Tzu have been referenced and quoted in various movies and television shows. In the 1987 movie ''
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District This is a list of financial districts in cities around the world. Background A financial district is usually a central area in a city where financial services firms suc ...
'',
Gordon Gekko Gordon Gekko is a composite character In a work of media adapted from a real or fictional narrative, a composite character is a character based on more than one individual from the story. Use in film *Several characters in the movie '' 21' ...
(
Michael Douglas Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technic ...
) frequently references ''The Art of War'' while dispensing advice to his young protégé Bud Fox (
Charlie Sheen Carlos Irwin Estévez (born September 3, 1965), known professionally as Charlie Sheen, is an American actor. He has appeared in films such as ''Platoon A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads, sections, or ...
). In the latter stages of the movie, Fox mentions Sun Tzu himself when describing his plan on trapping Gekko. The 20th ''
James Bond The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain ...
'' film, ''
Die Another Day ''Die Another Day'' is a 2002 spy film The spy film genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it n ...
'' (2002) also references ''The Art of War'' as the spiritual guide shared by Colonel Moon and his father. In television, ''The Art of War'' was referenced in ''
The Sopranos ''The Sopranos'' is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. The story revolves around Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based American Mafia, Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he f ...
''. In season 3, episode 8 ("He Is Risen"),
Dr. Melfi Jennifer Melfi is a fictional character on the HBO Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, ...
suggests to
Tony Soprano Anthony John Soprano is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operate ...
that he read the book. Later in the episode, Tony tells Dr. Melfi he is impressed with Sun Tzu, stating "Here's this guy, a Chinese general, who wrote this thing 2400 years ago, and most of it still applies today!" Immediately following the episode of ''The Sopranos'', sales of ''The Art of War'' spiked. In the '' Star Trek: The Next Generation'' first-season episode "The Last Outpost",
William Riker William Thomas "Will" Riker is a fictional character in the ''Star Trek ''Star Trek'' is an American science fiction media franchise originating from the 1960s television program, television series ''Star Trek: The Original Series, Star ...
quotes ''The Art of War'' to , who expressed pleasure that Sun Tzu was still taught at
Starfleet Academy In the fictional universe A fictional universe, or fictional world, is a self-consistent In classical deductive logic Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to re ...
. Later in the episode, a survivor from a long-dead nonhuman empire noted common aspects between his own people's wisdom and ''The Art of War'' with regard to knowing when and when not to fight. ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histor ...
'' is a 2000 action spy film directed by Christian Duguay and starring
Wesley Snipes Wesley Trent Snipes (born July 31, 1962) is an American actor, film producer, and martial artist Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement appli ...
,
Michael Biehn Michael Connell Biehn ( ; born July 31, 1956) is an American actor, primarily known for his roles in science fiction films directed by James Cameron James Francis Cameron (born August 16, 1954) is a Canadian filmmaker. Best known for mak ...
,
Anne Archer Anne Archer (born August 24, 1947) is an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts ...
and
Donald Sutherland Donald McNichol Sutherland (born 17 July 1935) is a Canadian actor whose film career spans more than 55 years. He has been nominated for eight Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the H ...
. In the '' Young Justice: Outsiders'' episode "Evolution",
Nightwing Nightwing is a fictional character and superhero A superhero or superheroine is a stock character that possesses Superpower (ability), ''superpowers'', abilities beyond those of ordinary people, and fits the role of the hero, typically usi ...
quotes ''The Art of War'' when teaching new recruits. In episode 13 of the anime ''
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga Manga (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectan ...
''
Roy Mustang is a fictional character from the ''Fullmetal Alchemist'' manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa. In the series, Mustang is a State Alchemist of Amestris' List of Fullmetal Alchemist characters#State Military, State Military, as ...
quotes ''The Art of War'' in a battle against
Edward Elric is a fictional character In , a character is a or other being in a (such as a , , , , or ). The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a "fictional" versus "real" character may ...
. In
season 4 Season 4 may refer to: * "Season 4" (''30 Rock'' episode), an episode of ''30 Rock'' See also * * Season One (disambiguation)Season One may refer to: * Season One (Suburban Legends album), ''Season One'' (Suburban Legends album), 2004 * Season On ...
, episode 15 of '' NCIS: Los Angeles'' ("History"), Marty Deeks references ''The Art of War'' in a series of rock-paper-scissors games against Sam Hanna. On '' Survivor: China'', the castaways were given copies of ''The Art of War'' to help them win the game. In the film ''
Battleship A battleship is a large armored warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually ...
'', an American Lieutenant Commander mentions an "Art of War" tactic to fight the alien mothership. In season 29, episode 15 of ''
The Simpsons ''The Simpsons'' is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer Simpson, Homer, Marge Si ...
'' (" No Good Read Goes Unpunished"),
Bart Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, , , metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity generally found in s. Unlike es o ...

Bart
uses ''The Art of War'' against
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...
, who later uses it to get back at Bart.


Notable translations

* * Part of the
UNESCO Collection of Representative Works The UNESCO Collection of Representative Works (or UNESCO Catalogue of Representative Works) was a UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la ...
. * * . * * * * *


See also


Concepts

* Military treatise *
Philosophy of war The philosophy of war is the area of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, min ...


Books

* (Commentaries on the
Gallic War The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 BC and 50 BC by the Roman general Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy ...
) by
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
* ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese histor ...
'' by
Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (; ; rarely rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below See or SEE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Music: ** See (album), ''See'' (album), studio album by rock band The Rascals *** "See", song by ...
* * ''
The Book of Five Rings is a text on ''kenjutsu is an umbrella term for all (''ko-budō'') schools of Japanese swordsmanship, in particular those that predate the Meiji Restoration. Some modern styles of kendo and iaido that were established in the 20th century a ...
'' (
Miyamoto Musashi , also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Dharma name, Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through st ...

Miyamoto Musashi
) * ''
Seven Military Classics The Seven Military Classics () were seven important military texts of ancient China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most po ...
'' * ''
Dream Pool Essays Shen Kuo (沈括) (1031–1095 AD) ''The Dream Pool Essays'' (or ''Dream Torrent Essays'') was an extensive book written by the Chinese polymath and statesman Shen Kuo (1031–1095), published in 1088 during the Song dynasty (960–1279) of Chin ...
'' by
Shen Kuo Shen Kuo (; 1031–1095) or Shen Gua, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
* by
Liu Bowen Liu Ji (July 1, 1311 – May 16, 1375),Jiang, Yonglin. Jiang Yonglin. 005(2005). The Great Ming Code: 大明律. University of Washington Press. , 9780295984490. Page xxxv. The source is used to cover the year only. courtesy name A courte ...

Liu Bowen
* by
Yamamoto Tsunetomo , also read Yamamoto Jōchō (June 11, 1659 – November 30, 1719), was a samurai of the Saga Domain in Hizen Province under his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige. ''Hagakure'' For thirty years Yamamoto devoted his life to the service of his lord an ...

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
* by
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus Publius (or Flavius) Vegetius Renatus, known as Vegetius (), was a writer of the Later Roman Empire (late 4th century The 4th century (per the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 Jul ...
* ''
Guerrilla Warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States ...
'' by
Che Guevara Ernesto "Che" Guevara (; 14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967) was a Cuban Cuban may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Cuba, a country in the Caribbean * Cubans, people from Cuba, or of Cuban descent ** Cuban exile, a person who left Cu ...

Che Guevara
* '' On Protracted War'' by
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
* ''
On War ''Vom Kriege'' () is a book on war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...
'' by
Carl von Clausewitz Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (; – ) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" (meaning, in modern terms, psychological Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic ...

Carl von Clausewitz
* ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'' * '' The 33 Strategies of War'' * ''
Thirty-Six Stratagems The ''Thirty-Six Stratagems'' is a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics, war, and civil interaction. Its focus on the use of cunning and deception both on the battlefield and in court have drawn comparisons t ...
'' * '' The Utility of Force'' by General * ''
Seven Pillars of Wisdom ''Seven Pillars of Wisdom'' is the autobiographical An autobiography (from the Greek language, Greek, αὐτός-''autos'' self + βίος-''bios'' life + γράφειν-''graphein'' to write; also informally called an autobio) is a self-wri ...

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
'' by
T. E. Lawrence Colonel (UK), Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935) was a British Archaeology, archaeologist, army officer, diplomat, and writer, who became renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt (1916–1918) and the Sinai an ...

T. E. Lawrence
* * by
Erwin Rommel Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel () (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was a German general and a propaganda icon during World War II. Popularly known as the Desert Fox (, ), he served as field marshal Field marshal (or field-marsha ...

Erwin Rommel
* ''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written by ...
'' by
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
*''
The Jewish War ''The Jewish War'' or ''Judean War'' (in full ''Flavius Josephus's Books of the History of the Jewish War against the Romans'', el, Φλαυίου Ἰωσήπου ἱστορία Ἰουδαϊκοῦ πολέμου πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ...
'' by
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
* '' The Science of Military Strategy'' * ''
The Influence of Sea Power upon History ''The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783'' is a history of naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumb ...

The Influence of Sea Power upon History
'' by Admiral
Alfred Thayer Mahan Alfred Thayer Mahan (; September 27, 1840 – December 1, 1914) was a United States Navy, United States naval officer and historian, whom John Keegan called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His book ''The Infl ...


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * *


External links

*
''The Art of War''
Chinese-English bilingual edition,
Chinese Text Project The Chinese Text Project (CTP; ) is a digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing Co ...
* translated by
Lionel Giles Lionel Giles (29 December 1875 – 22 January 1958) was a British sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in ...
(1910) * translated (with Chinese text) by
Lionel Giles Lionel Giles (29 December 1875 – 22 January 1958) was a British sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in ...
(1910) * translated by E.F. Calthrop (1908) * (English and Chinese original available)
Sun Tzu's ''Art of War''
at Sonshi (archive.today
Alternative link


at the Institute for National Strategic Studies of
National Defense University The National Defense University (NDU) is an institution of higher education funded by the United States Department of Defense, intended to facilitate high-level education, training, and professional development of national security leaders. As ...

National Defense University

11 The Nine Situations , The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Animated)

''The Art of War illustrated version''
on Theoriq.com {{DEFAULTSORT:Art Of War, The Sun Tzu 5th-century BC books Seven Military Classics Warrior code Zhou dynasty texts Military strategy books