Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BC) was one of the world’s most brilliant military minds. Within his writings on warfare contains the most well respected instructions on winning wars to this day.
No one truly knows where or when Sun Tzu was born, but it is agreed by historians that it was during the Spring and Autumn period in China, between 771 and 476 BC, though historians also date The Art of War to the Later Warring Periods closer to the 6th Century BC. Sun Tzu was born Sun Wu, Tzu is actually an honorific in Chinese so his name in English would mean, “Master Sun”.
One of the most famous documents about Sun Tzu is from the Kingdom of Wu where Sun Tzu had been hired. In order to prove his ability Sun Tzu was asked to train a harem of concubines into a fighting company. He assigned two women as officers, but when he gave orders, the girls of the harem laughed. He asked again but again the girls did not react. In response Sun Tzu beheaded the officers, citing that repeat disobedience is the fault of officers not soldiers. Afterwards, the women in harem no longer protested and were trained to be fit warriors.
The Art of War became the common military principle in all of China, and later all of the East. Sun Tzu gained respect and land from those grateful for his wise advice on waging their wars as five different kingdoms at this time were perpetually in a state of war.
Nowadays the historicity of Sun Tzu has come into question, many do not believe that Sun Tzu was the only author of The Art if War, many believe in fact that the Art of War was a compilation of knowledge started by Sun Tzu long before its completion, if it was ever complete. Regardless people to this day give credit to Sun Tzu with its authoring.
As little as is known about Sun Tzu’s birth, the same could be said about his death. Some guess the year 481 BC, others say closer to 200 BC. But though he is gone his legacy and his writings have gone on to influence, war, government and business alike.
We want to entertain you and any other potential history lovers out there and don’t forget to like Daily Historical Post for more!