Chinese general and military strategist Sun Wu (simplified Chinese: 孙武; traditional Chinese: 孫武; pinyin: Sūn Wǔ), style name Changqing (長卿), better known as Sun Tzu [simplified Chinese: 孙子; traditional Chinese: 孫子; pinyin: Sūn Zǐ]) wrote The Art of War (Chinese: 孫子兵法; pinyin: Sūn Zǐ Bīng Fǎ).
Later called one of the Seven Military Classics of ancient China, The Art of War was the oldest and most influential work on military strategy.
"Sun Tzu suggested the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of competitive actors in that environment. He thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.
"The book was translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, and into English by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. It likely influenced Napoleon,and leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, and General Douglas MacArthur have claimed to have drawn inspiration from the work. The Art of War has also been applied to business and managerial strategies" (Wikipedia article on The Art of War, accessed 01-30-2010).
Because of the destruction of information that took place in 213 BCE at the instigation of the Qin Emperor, the earliest known manuscript of Sun Tzu's text consists of 13 fragments of chapters among the 4942 bamboo strips known as the Yinqueshan Han Slips, which were discovered in 1972 in Tombs no. 1 and 2 at the foot of Yinqueshan (Sliver Sparrow Mountain) southeast of the city of Linyi in the province of Shandong.
"The time of burial for both tombs had been dated to about 140 BC/134 BC and 118 BC, the texts having been written on the bamboo slips before then. After restoration and arrangement, the slips were organised into a sequential order of nine groups and 154 sections. The first group included 13 fragment chapters from Sunzi's The Art of War, and 5 undetermined chapters; the second group were the 16 chapters of Sun Bin's Art of War, which had been missing for at least 1,400 years; the third included the 7 original and lost chapters from the Six Strategies (before this significant find only the titles of the lost chapters were known); the fourth and fifth included 5 chapters from the Weiliaozi and 16 chapters from the Yanzi; the rest of the groups included anonymous writings" (Wikipedia article on Yinqueshan Han Slips, accessed 01-30-2010).