Work

Wuzi

wd:Q1135722

The Wuzi (simplified Chinese: 吴子; traditional Chinese: 吳子; pinyin: Wúzǐ) is a classic Chinese work on military strategy attributed to Wu Qi. It is considered one of China's Seven Military Classics. It is said there were two books on the art of war by Wu Qi, but one was lost, hence leaving the Wuzi as the only existing book carrying Wu Qi's military thoughts. The oldest Wuzi edition that survives dates to the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Because of the lack of surviving copies, there is no consensus among modern scholars concerning the latest date of the Wuzi's final composition, but the core of the work is nominally assumed to have been composed around Wu Qi's lifetime (440–381 BC), in the mid-Warring States period. Historical references indicate that the Wuzi was very famous and popular in both the Warring States period and in the Han dynasty. In addition to strategic/tactical studies and the philosophy of war, the Wuzi pays significant attention to the logistical achievement of war preparedness. The philosophical content of the work mainly consists of a synthesis between Confucianism and Legalism. The work attempts to resolve a humanistic (Confucian) concern for moral values and benevolent government with an administrative (Legalist) need for strict, predictable rewards and punishments. The attempted synthesis between Confucian and Legalist values is common to other military treatises dated more conclusively to the Warring States period.
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