This book outlines compelling factors that point to the Art of War as an anthology of China’s ancient military philosophy rather than the work of one individual. The exposition is followed by a translation of the thirteen chapters that make up the ancient text, with added chapter sections to indicate where there appears to be a tenuous connection of certain lines within each chapter. More
The Art of War of Sun Tzu is often falsely touted as the oldest and first work on military strategy. This myth has become a mindset ever since China’s ancient historian Ssu-ma Ch’ien sometime between 109 BC and 91 BC penned the questionable biography of Sun Wu in his work, Historical Records. Although the canons of the Sun Tzu Ping Fa have been endorsed by many a Western and Chinese military strategist, the personage of Sun Wu remains nebulous and the authorship of the work dubious. What is certain is that the Sun Tzu Ping Fa is one of thirteen books on the military art along with fifty four treatises pertaining to military matters that existed at the beginning of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Furthermore, there is sufficient evidence from ancient Chinese texts, historical events and other facts, as well as the structure of and terminology within the thirteen chapters of the Art of War itself, to safely conclude that the work is in all probability an anthology dating from about 240 BC.