An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Pingpi baijin fang 洴澼百金方

Jan 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Pingpi baijin fang 洴澼百金方 "Hundred golden methods of silk flapping in the wind" is a military treatise compiled during the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). It has a length of 14 juan and includes 175 illustrations of weapons, machines and battleships. The author is not known, but there is a scholar mentioned in the preface called Huilu Jiumin 惠麓酒民, and also a certain Wu Gonggui 吳宮桂 or Yuan Gonggui 袁宮桂 xxx. The term pingpi is derived from the book Zhuangzi 莊子 and describes a method to govern a country.

The book was finished in 1736 and was printed in 1788. In a reprint from the Daoguang reign-period 道光 (1821-1850), the book is named Beiyulu 備豫錄 "On preparedness". There are several reprints from the 19th century. The book mainly deals with defence methods through history, but also with other issued of warfare. A basic idea is that war has always to be waged in order to protect the people. The people had therefore also to fight jointly with the troops. The soldiers had not only to be trained physically, but also mentally, to achieve loyalty, endurance, bravery, and trustworthiness. The main body of troops was made out of local militia (xiangbing 鄉兵). The preparation of sufficient foodstuff and an appropriate number of weapons was equally important for achieving victory. During a siege, defence combined with excursions was the best method. A last important point mentioned in the book is the appropriate observation of topography.

Chen Bingcai 陳秉才 (1989). "Pingpi baijin fang 洴澼百金方", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 831.