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Conquer and GovernEarly Chinese Military Texts from the Yi Zhou shu$
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Robin McNeal

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831202

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831202.001.0001

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Introduction to the Yi Zhou shu

Introduction to the Yi Zhou shu

Its Transmission and Reception

(p.73) 3 Introduction to the Yi Zhou shu
Conquer and Govern

Robin McNeal

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter demonstrates that military power and its purpose of legalizing civil rule were topics of particular interest to intellectuals and statesmen from the fourth through first centuries BCE. Contrary to some long-standing characterizations of early Chinese thought as pacifist, there was a sophisticated and broadly based discourse during these centuries on the nature of warfare, its cosmological and moral underpinnings, its role in history, and its importance to the stability of the state. This discourse developed alongside a more technical discourse on such topics as mobilization, weaponry, defensive strategies, and deployment of formations—some of which were recorded in the early military treatises that survive to this day.

Keywords:   military power, civil rule, Chinese thought, pacifist, warfare, mobilization, weaponry, defensive strategies, formation deployment

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