Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and by Joseph Needham

By Joseph Needham

Technological know-how and Civilisation in China quantity V half 6 is the 1st of the 3 elements facing the humanities of struggle in old and medieval China. (Part 7--on gunpowder and all elements of explosive weapons--has already been released, whereas half 8--on cavalry thoughts and signaling--is nonetheless in preparation.) the current quantity opens with an advent on chinese language attitudes to war normally. 4 significant sections stick with: at the making and use of straightforward bows; at the crossbow, the normal weapon of the Han armies, and its advent to the Western global; at the pre-gunpowder types of artillery, together with the discovery of the trebuchet; and at the artwork of siege struggle during which the Mohists have been relatively . there's a bargain of fabric on siege-warfare on hand, and this ultimate part is a considerable one, masking all elements intimately.

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Additional resources for Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 6, Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges

Sample text

E Such ideas were propagated in Sun Tz;u, the Li Wei Kung Wen Tui, and by other ancient philosophers from the School of Politicians (Tsung Heng Chia 3 ). Some of these elements also exist of course in all the previously-mentioned military treatises. The third tendency searched for easy victories and subduing enemies by using the Yin~ Yang theory, the forces of the Five Elements, by magical numerology, astrology and the like; in other words by the implementation of natural forces and magic. These concepts also influenced many theoreticians, as may be seen in Wu Tz;u, Liu Thao, and the Sun Pin Ping Fa, but especially in the Thai Po Yin Ching, Yin Fu Ching, Hu Chhien Ching, Wo Chi Ching, Li Wei Kllng Ping Fa and other texts.

4, p. 166, tr. Weigand (I), pp. 71-2. The same opinion occurs in Mencius. book ch. I; tr. Legge (3), p. 84. b Sun Tz;u Ping Fa, ch. 9, p. 28. , Sun Tz;u Ping Fa, ch. to, pp. 33-4. : 11 'ill '*, 'jjjj 8~ "l! "JilI:Jt!! 6. 7· 8. The theory of territory constituted one of the most important parts of the classical theory. The proper use of territory was treated as very significant in achieving victory, and as a separate factor in supporting an army's efforts. Conditions, as mentioned earlier, were treated by the Chinese as an active factor; the configuration of territory created an army's strength, and determined its combat power.

It seems also that they lacked the wish to make great conquests, an attitude that has attracted Western minds since antiquity. Both these factors, the lack of 'military industry' and the conscious avoidance of unduly costly victories, helped to preserve the Chinese State and its culture, and also contributed to their slow growth. The great development of the psychological aspects of war, and the elevated role given to all subjective factors, were certainly related to reality; though in China logistics were usually much weaker than in Rome, with the result that the material aspect of war was less important, and was considered to be less important.

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