Sun Tzu

  • Derek M. C. Yuen
Living reference work entry

The Chinese military general, strategist, and theorist Sun Tzu was a notable historical figure in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770–403 BC) of ancient China. His birth name was Sun Wu (孫武), and he originated from a military family in the state of Qi (齊). His book Sun Tzu: The Art of War (孫子兵法) has been considered the most important military treatise of China, which laid the foundation of Chinese strategic thought and military dialectic and is widely applied in numerous fields worldwide today.

Despite his uncertain historicity, Sun Tzu was believed to be a contemporary of Lao Tzu (Lao Zi) and Confucius. Due to political upheavals in Qi, Sun Tzu moved to the state of Wu (吳). In 512 BC, Sun Tzu presented the King of Wu The Art of War(in 13 chapters) and was later appointed as a general. He played a major role in the war planning against the state of Chu (楚), Wu’s arch-enemy. In 506 BC, Wu launched major offensives against Chu. Wu forces commanded by Sun Tzu won a stunning victory...


Autumn Period Military Family Military Treatise Strategic Thought Tremendous Change 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Science, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong