The STRATEGIES OF THE WARRING STATES (Chinese : 戰國策; literally: "Strategies of the Warring States") is an ancient Chinese text that contains anecdotes of political manipulation and warfare during the Warring States period (5th to 3rd centuries BCE). It is an important text of the Warring States Period as it describes the strategies and political views of the School of Diplomacy and reveals the historical and social characteristics of the period.
* 1 History * 2 Content * 3 Literary criticism * 4 Translations * 5 Notes * 6 Bibliography * 7 External links
The author of
Zhan Guo Ce has not yet been verified: it is generally
deemed, after Zhang Xincheng, that the book was not written by a
single author at one time. It is thought to have been composed by Su
Qin and his peers before being obtained by Liu Xiang . Unlike most of
the pre-Qin classics, the authenticity of Zhan Guo Ce, along with the
The six versions of written works from the School of Diplomacy were discovered by Liu Xiang during his editing and proofreading of the imperial literary collection. Those works of political views and diplomatic strategies from the School of Diplomacy were in poor condition, with confusing contents and missing words. Liu Xiang proofread and edited them into the new book under the title Zhan Guo Ce; it was therefore not written by a single author at one time.
Significant contents of
Zhan Guo Ce were lost in subsequent
The chapters take the form of anecdotes meant to illustrate various strategies and tricks employed by the Warring States. With the focus thus being more on providing general political insights than on presenting the whole history of the period, there is no stringent year-by-year dating such as that found in the preceding Spring and Autumn Annals . Stories are sorted chronologically by under which ruler they take place, but within the reign of a single king there is no way to tell if the time elapsed between two anecdotes is a day or a year.
The book comprises approximately 120,000 words, and is divided into 33 chapters and 497 sections. The twelve dynasties the strategies pertain to are:
## CHINESE TRANSLATION Context Identical with Manwangdui Chapters
01 东周策 Strategies of Eastern Zhou Nil
02 西周策 Strategies of Western Zhou
03 秦策 Strategies of Qin Chapter 19/Qin 3:2
08 齐策 Strategies of Qi Nil
14 楚策 Strategies of Chu Chapter 23/Chu 4:13
18 赵策 Strategies of Zhao Chapter 21/Zhao 1:9 Chapter 18/Zhao 4:18
22 魏策 Strategies of Wei Chapter 15/Wei 3:3 Chapter 16/Wei 3:8
26 韩策 Strategies of Han Chapter 23/Han 1:16
29 燕策 Strategies of Yan Chapter 05/Yan 1:5 and Yan 1:12 Chapter 20/Yan 1:11 Chapter 04/Yan 2:4
32 宋、卫策 Strategies of Song and Wei Nil
33 中山策 Strategies of Zhongshan
ZGC displays the social aspects and scholastic habitat of the Warring States Period. Not just a brilliant historical work, it is an excellent historical literature and novel. Major events and historical information of the period are represented in objective and vivid descriptions. Detailed records of speeches and deeds by followers of the School of Diplomacy reveal the mental makeup and intellectual expertise of the characters. Acts of righteousness, bravery and determination by numerous characters are also recorded.
Sophisticated intellectual contents of ZGC mainly reveal the intellectual inclination of the followers of the School of Diplomacy and illustrate the intellectual wealth and multicultural aspects of the period.
The literary achievement of the ZGC is also outstanding - it signifies a new era in the development of ancient Chinese literature . Among other aspects, character description, language usage and metaphorical stories demonstrate rich and clear literary quality. ZGC greatly exerts influence on the format of the later Record of the Grand Historian. And many Chinese idioms come from this book, such as "南辕北辙","狡兔三窟" and so on.
Nevertheless, its intellectual aspects have also been disputed, mainly due to its stress on fame and profit and its conflicts with Confucian ideology. The book appears to overemphasize the historical contributions from the School of Diplomacy, devaluing the book's historical importance.
The book does not emphasize the historical facts or fiction, but appears to be an extensive collection of anecdotes with little bearing to the chronological order of chapter and narration. Since the 12th century, it has been widely debated whether the book should be considered a historical documentation from writer Chao Gongwu and Gao Sisun, and there have been attempts to categorize the book into a different genus. This lasted until 1936 where scholars like Zhong Fengnian demonstrated that the book was written as a handbook of diction from the School of Diplomacy, and not intended to be a compilation of historical facts.
* Crump, James I., Jr. (1970). Chan-kuo ts'e. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
^ A: See HKUL Digital Initiatives for G. W. Bonsall translation.
* ^ Tsien (1993) , p. 1. * ^ He 2001, p. 64-67 * ^ He 2001, p. 24-25 * ^ He 2001, p. 36-37 * ^ He 2001, p. 132-135
* Tsien, Tsuen-hsuin (1993). "Chan Kuo Ts'e 戰國策". In Loewe, Michael . Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide. Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China; Institute of East Asian Studies,