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Chinese Literature
He Boshi beilun 何博士備論 "Complete Discussions by Acadamician He"


The He Boshi beilun 何博士備論 "Complete discussions by Acadamician He" is a critical biography of generals and military leaders in Chinese history. It was written by the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) military academician He Qufei 何去非. Of the original 28 chapters, two are missing.
The Beilun is an account of with 22 military leaders from the Warring States 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) to the Five Dynasties period 五代 (907-960), investigates reasons for their success and failure in battle, and seeks to draw general conclusions. The author does not generally advocate war as something good, but it has to be waged according to the circumstances, and whether the actor will be able to profit from it. The right wisdom is therefore more important for the person of a general than bravery. A military leader has to have the right information about the enemy, he has to balance war of attack and war of defense, and he has to know when to apply the right tactics on the battlefield. This knowledge has not necessarily to come from the commander himself, but he has to rely on able advisors in his staff, similar to a ruler who makes use of wise ministers. The relationship between a ruler and his general is also of great importance for both the survival of the state and for victory on the battlefield.
The oldest surviving version is a manuscript of the Xueyan Studio 穴研齋 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). It is included in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Pucheng yishu 浦城遺書 and Zhihai 指海.


Source: Feng Dongli 馮東禮 (1989). "He Boshi beilun 何博士備論", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事, vol. 1, p. 349. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

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January 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail