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Sun Tzu

Birthdate: 543 BC
Date of death: 495 BC
Other names: Sun-c’

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzu by which he is best known in the Western World is an honorific which means "Master Sun".

Sun Tzu's historicity is uncertain. The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian and other traditional Chinese historians placed him as a minister to King Helü of Wu and dated his lifetime to 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the extant text of The Art of War in the later Warring States period based on its style of composition and its descriptions of warfare. Traditional accounts state that the general's descendant Sun Bin wrote a treatise on military tactics, also titled The Art of War. Since Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese texts, some historians believed them identical, prior to the rediscovery of Sun Bin's treatise in 1972.

Sun Tzu's work has been praised and employed in East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well. It continues to influence many competitive endeavors in the world, including culture, politics, business and sports, as well as modern warfare. Wikipedia

Works

„Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh_Hant) 視卒如愛子,故可與之俱死。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter X · Terrain

„For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.“

—  Sun Tzu

Variant translations
Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities... It is best to win without fighting.
Original: (zh_Hant) 是故百戰百勝,非善之善者也;不戰而屈人之兵,善之善者也。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter III · Strategic Attack

„The true objective of war is peace.“

—  Sun Tzu

This attributed to Sun Tzu and his book The Art of War. Actually James Clavell’s foreword in The Art of War http://www.scribd.com/doc/42222505/The-Art-Of-War states http://www.collegetermpapers.com/TermPapers/History_Other/Sun_Tzu_vs_The_Wisdom_of_the_Desert.shtml, “’the true object of war is peace.’” Therefore the quote is stated by James Clavell, but the true origin of Clavell's quotation is unclear. Nonetheless the essence of the quote, that a long war exhausts a state and therefore ultimately seeking peace is in the interest of the warring state, is true, as Sun Tzu in Chapter II Waging Wars says that "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on." This has been interpreted by Lionel Giles http://www.dutchjoens.info/SunTzu%20-%20Art%20of%20War.pdf as "Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance of rapidity in bringing it to a close."
Dr. Hiroshi Hatanaka, President of Kobe College, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan is recorded as saying "the real objective of war is peace" in Pacific Stars and Stripes Ryukyu Edition, Tokyo, Japan (10 February 1949), Page 2, Column 2.
Misattributed

„Fear is the true enemy, the only enemy.“

—  Sun Tzu

Attributed implicitly to Sun Tzu by "William Riker" in the episode The Last Outpost of the TV program Star Trek: The Next Generation, but no source for this quote predates the episode's airing in 1987.
Misattributed

„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

—  Sun Tzu

This has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Petrarch. It comes most directly from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola:
My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
Niccolò Machiavelli, who is also sometimes credited, wrote on the subject in The Prince:
It is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.
Misattributed

„All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.“

—  Sun Tzu

人皆知我所以勝之形,而莫知吾所以制勝之形。
Original: (zh_Hant) 人皆知我所以勝之形,而莫知我所以制勝之形。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter VI · Weaknesses and Strengths

„A leader leads by example not by force.“

—  Sun Tzu, book The Art of War

Original: (zh) 令素行以教其民,则民服。令不素行以教其民,则民不服。令素行者,与民相得也。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter IX · Movement and Development of Troops

„To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.“

—  Sun Tzu

This is sometimes attributed to Sun Tzu in combination with the above quote, as well as alone, but it too has not been sourced to any published translation of The Art of War, though it is similar in concept to his famous statement in Ch. 3 : "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles..."
Misattributed

„To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh_Hant) 圍師必闕
Source: The Art of War, Chapter VII · Military Maneuvers

„If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh-CN) 怒而挠之
Source: The Art of War, Chapter I · Detail Assessment and Planning

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„He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh) 知可战与不可战者胜。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter III · Strategic Attack

„It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.“

—  Sun Tzu

Variant translations
If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know not thy enemy nor yourself, wallow in defeat every time.
Literal translation: Know [the] other, know [the] self, hundred battles without danger; not knowing [the] other but know [the] self, one win one loss; not knowing [the] other, not knowing [the] self, every battle must [be] lost.
Original: (zh-TW) 知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆
Source: The Art of War, Chapter III · Strategic Attack

„The art of war is of vital importance to the State.“

—  Sun Tzu, book The Art of War

The Art of War, Chapter I · Detail Assessment and Planning
Original: (zh_Hant) 孫子曰:國之上下,死生之地,存亡之道,不可不察也。
Context: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

„Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.“

—  Sun Tzu, book The Art of War

Alternative translation: Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate.
Alternative translation: O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.
The Art of War, Chapter VI · Weaknesses and Strengths
Original: (zh) 微乎微乎,至于无形;神乎神乎,至于无声;故能为敌之司命。
Context: Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.

„If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame.“

—  Sun Tzu, book The Art of War

The Art of War, Chapter X · Terrain
Original: (zh) 将弱不严,教道不明,将之过也。
Context: If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders are clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.

„The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh) 鸷鸟之疾,至于毁折者,节也。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter V · Forces

„The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat: — let such a one be dismissed!“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh) 将听吾计,用之必胜,留之;将不听吾计,用之必败,去之;
Source: The Art of War, Chapter I · Detail Assessment and Planning

„If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh_Hant) 故戰道必勝,主曰無戰,必戰可也;戰道不勝,主曰必戰,无戰可也;
Source: The Art of War, Chapter X · Terrain

„Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.“

—  Sun Tzu

Original: (zh) 治众如治寡,分数是也。
Source: The Art of War, Chapter V · Forces

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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