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Ancient Chinese Warfare
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ancient Chinese Warfare

In ancient China warfare was a means for one region to gain ascendancy over another, for the state to expand and protect its frontiers, and for usurpers to replace an existing dynasty of rulers. With armies consisting of tens of thousands...
Crossbows in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Crossbows in Ancient Chinese Warfare

The crossbow was introduced into Chinese warfare during the Warring States period (481-221 BCE). Developing over the centuries into a more powerful and accurate weapon, the crossbow also came in versions light enough to be fired with one...
Cavalry in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Cavalry in Ancient Chinese Warfare

The use of cavalry in Chinese warfare was a significant development which was largely responsible for the abandonment of chariots, that vehicle being much slower and more cumbersome to manoeuvre in battle conditions. The greater speed and...
Fortifications in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Fortifications in Ancient Chinese Warfare

While ancient Chinese warfare was often characterised by large armies in pitched battles, siege warfare and the sacking of cities were also regular features. Huge earth walls with towers and encircling ditches or moats became the normal strategy...
Archers in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Archers in Ancient Chinese Warfare

The bow was the most common weapon in ancient Chinese warfare and the skill of using it was the most esteemed martial art for millennia. Archers were used as infantry, chariot riders, and cavalry over the centuries, and while the weapon's...
Swords in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Swords in Ancient Chinese Warfare

Although the bow and crossbow were the weapons of choice for much of China's history, the sword played its part, especially when warriors were forced to dismount and face the enemy at close quarters. Widely used from around 500 BCE, swords...
Chariots in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Chariots in Ancient Chinese Warfare

The chariot was used in Chinese warfare from around 1250 BCE but enjoyed its heyday between the 8th and 5th century BCE when various states were constantly battling for control of China. Employed as a status symbol, a shock weapon, to pursue...
Armour in Ancient Chinese Warfare
Article by Mark Cartwright

Armour in Ancient Chinese Warfare

With zinging arrows, powerful crossbow bolts, stabbing swords, and swinging axes all a staple feature of the Chinese battlefield, it is not surprising that soldiers sought to protect themselves as best they could with armour and shields...
The Art of War
Definition by Mark Cartwright

The Art of War

The Art of War (Sunzi bingfa) is a 5th-century BCE military treatise written by the Chinese strategist Sun-Tzu (aka Sunzi or Sun Wu). Covering all aspects of warfare, it seeks to advise commanders on how to prepare, mobilise, attack, defend...
Sun-Tzu
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Sun-Tzu

Sun Tzu (l. c. 500 BCE) was a Chinese military strategist and general best known as the author of the work The Art of War, a treatise on military strategy (also known as The Thirteen Chapters). He was associated (formally or as an inspiration...