CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Literature > Masters and philosophers > Military treatises > Jiangyuan]

Chinese Literature
Jiangyuan 將苑 "The General's Park"


The Jiangyuan 將苑 "The General's Park" is a military treatise written by the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280) politician and strategist Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮. The book is also called Xinshu 新書 "New book" or Xinshu 心書 "Book of the mind". It is first mentioned in the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) bibliography Suichutang shumu 遂初堂書目. It is also included in the collected works of Zhuge Liang, Zhuge Liang ji 諸葛亮集, which was compiled by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Wang Shiqi 王士騏. The Jiangyuan is divided into 50 chapters.
The person of the general is the center of the Jiangyuan. The commander is the crucial point in winning or losing a war, and thus he must sacrify his life for the state. A general must be able to select capable officers and to apply his own power in the right situations. As he brings victory on the battlefield, he is successful within his own army. Loyalty and a high moral integrity are indispensable predicates of a commander. He must be able to unify civilian morality and martial spirit, with the first prevailing over the latter. His strengths are a thorough knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the own army as well as that of the enemy, he must known how and when to advance or to retreat, he knows how to disguise the strong units of the army as weak ones. He must not simply trust in the own strengths, nor in the efficiency of the own army, he must not believe that a weak enemy is harmless, nor do his personal capabilites make him too confident. He gives a personal example for all troops, and shares with his men the hardship of war. In the army commands and rules have to be strictly observed, and rewards and punishments have to be clarified and just. Exercise is very important, as is the training of stricly obeying commands. Before going out to the battlefield all plans have to be made. War can only be made when one is sure to be the victor.
The collected works of Zhuge Liang were republished in 1960 by the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局.


Source: Su Chuanxun 蘇傳訓 (1989). "Jiangyuan 將苑", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事, vol. 1, p. 473. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 19, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail