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Chinese Literature
Military Treatises (bingjia lei 兵家類)


The Four Categories of Literature
Military Treatises (bingjia lei 兵家類) is a subcategory in traditional Chinese bibliographies and part of the category of Masters and Philosophers (zibu 子部). In the oldest imperial bibliography, the Qilüe 七略, they were separated from the more philosophical schools of the "masters and philosophers". In the imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 of the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書, their writings are still to be found in a separate category and were later placed in the second position of the masters, just after the Confucians. The collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 includes 20 books in this section.
The most important representants of the military thinkers are Sun Wu 孫武 (Sunzi 孫子) and Sima Rangju 司馬穰苴 from the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE), Sun Bin 孫臏, Wu Qi 吳起, Wei Liao 尉繚, Shang Yang 商鞅; Pang Juan 龐煖, Wang Liao 王廖, Er Liang 兒良, Wei Wuji 魏無忌 (Lord Xinling 信陵君), Zhao She 趙奢 and Bai Qi 白起 from the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE), as well as Zhang Liang 張良, Han Xin 韓信, Xiang Yu 項羽 and Li Guang 李廣 from the founding years of the Han dynasty 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE). Not all of them compiled books, and of those compiled, only a small percentage has survived. The books mentioned in the early bibliographies are Wu Sunzi 吳孫子 (i. e. the Sunzi bingfa 孫武兵法), Qi Sunzi 齊孫子 (i. e. the Sun Bin bingfa 孫臏兵法), Wu Qi 吳起 (today known as Wuzi 吳子), Weiliaozi 尉繚子, a book by Han Xin 韓信, and the Li jiangjun shefa 李將軍射法. Six of the ancient classics have later been incorporated into a canon of military writings, namely the Sunzi, Wuzi, Weiliaozi, Simafa 司馬法, Liutao 六韜 and Huangshigong sanlüe 黃石公三略. The Sun Bin bingfa was rediscovered in 1972 in a Han period tomb in Yinqueshan 銀雀山 near Linyi 臨沂, Shandong.


書名 Title Author(s)
武經七書 Wujing qishu "The Seven Military Classics"
六韜 (太公六韜) Liutao (Taigong Liutao) (Zhou) 姜尚 Jiang Shang or 呂望 Lü Wang (?)
孫子兵法 (孫子) Sunzi bingfa (Sunzi) (Zhou) 孫武 Sun Wu
吳子 Wuzi (Zhou) 吳起 Wu Qi
司馬法 Simafa (Zhou) 司馬穰苴 Sima Rangju (?)
尉繚子 Weiliaozi (Yuliaozi) (Zhou) 尉繚 Wei Liao
黃石公三略 Huangshigong sanlüe (Zhou) 黃石公 Huangshigong (?); (Ming) 劉寅 Liu Yin (comm.)
(唐太宗)李衛公問對 Tang Taizong Li Weigong wendui (Tang) 李靖 Li Jing (?)

others
握奇經 Wojijing (Woqijing) (Zhou) 風后 Fenghou (?); (Han) 公孫弘 Gongsun Hong (comm.); (Jin) 馬隆 Ma Long (arr.)
孫臏兵法 * Sun Bin bingfa (Zhou) 孫臏 Sun Bin
黃石公素書 Huangshigong sushu (Zhou) 黃石公 Huangshigong (?); (Song) 張商英 Zhang Shangying (comm.)
將苑 * Jiangyuan (Shu) 諸葛亮 Zhuge Liang
便宜十六策 * Bianyi shiliu ce (Shu) 諸葛亮 Zhuge Liang (?)
心書 * Xinshu (Shu) 諸葛亮 Zhuge Liang (?)
太白陰經 Taibaiyin jing (Tang) 李筌 Li Quan
閫外春秋 Kunwai chunqiu (Tang) 李筌 Li Quan
道德經論兵要義 Daodejing lunbing yaoyi (Tang) 王真 Wang Zhen
射經 Shejing (Tang) 王璩 Wang Ju
黃帝問玄女兵法 * Huangdi wen Xuannü bingfa (Qing) 洪頤煊 Hong Yixuan (comp.)
武經總要 Wujing zongyao (Song) 曾公亮 Zeng Gongliang, 丁度 Ding Du (et al.)
何博士備論 He boshi beilun (Song) 何去非 He Qufei
虎鈐經 Huqianjing (Song) 許洞 Xu Dong
歷代兵制 Lidai bingzhiPolitical books (Song) 陳傅良 Chen Fuliang
百戰奇法 * Baizhan qifa (Song) 謝枋得 Xie Fangde (?)
百將傳 * Baijiangzhuan (Song) 張預 Zhang Yu
守城錄 Shouchenglu (Song) 陳規 Chen Gui, 湯璹 Tang Shou
美芹十論 Meiqin shilun (Song) 辛棄疾 Xin Qiji
武編 Wubian (Ming) 唐順之 Tang Shunzhi
陣紀 Zhenji (Ming) 何良臣 He Liangchen
武備志 * Wubeizhi (Ming) 茅元儀 Mao Yuanyi
繼武經總要 * Xu wujing zongyao (Ming) 趙本學 Zhao Benxue, 俞大猷 Yu Dayou
火龍神器陣法 * Huolong shenqi zhenfa (Ming) 焦玉 Jiao Yu
紀效新書 Jixiao xinshu (Ming) 戚繼光 Qi Jiguang
練兵實紀 Lianbing shiji (Ming) 戚繼光 Qi Jiguang
籌海圖編 Chouhai tubianGeography (Ming) 鄭若曾 Zheng Ruoceng
登壇必究 * Dengtan bijiu (Ming) 王鳴鶴 Wang Minghe
投筆膚談 * Toubi futan (Ming) 西湖逸士 Xihu yishi
廣百將傳統 * Guang baijiang zhuantong (Ming) 陳元素 Chen Yuansu
火攻挈要 * Huogong qieyao (Ming) 焦勖 Jiao Xu
車營扣答合編 * Cheying kouda hebian (Ming) 孫承宗 Sun Chengzong
八陣合變圖說 * Bazhen hebian tushuo (Ming) 龍正 Long Zheng (or 藍章 Lan Zhang)
白毫子兵壘 Baihaozi binglei (Ming) 尹賓商 Yin Binshang
草廬經略 Caolu jinglüe (Ming) NN
讀史方輿紀要 * Dushi fangyu jiyao (Ming/Qing) 顧祖禹 Gu Zuyu
洴澼百金方 * Pingpi baijin fang (Qing) 惠麓酒民 Huilu jiumin
灰畫集 * Huihuaji (Qing) 李培 Li Pei
治平勝算全書 * Zhiping shengsuan quanshu (Qing) Nian Gengyao 年羹堯
戊笈談兵 * Wuji tanbing (Qing) 汪紱 Wang Fu
兵鏡類編 * Bingjing leibian (Qing) 李蕊 Li Rui
三十六計 * Sanshiliuji

* not included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目題要, nor the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書

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