Science and Civilisation in China Volume V Part 6 is the first of the three parts dealing with the arts of war in ancient and medieval China. The present volume opens with an introduction on Chinese attitudes to warfare in general. Four major sections follow: on the making and use of simple bows; on the crossbow, the standard weapon of the Han armies, and its introduction to the Western world; on the pre-gunpowder forms of artillery, including the invention of the trebuchet; and on the art of siege warfare in which the Mohists were particularly interested. There is a good deal of material on siege-warfare available, and this final section is a substantial one, covering all aspects in detail.
, Robin D. S. Yates
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Cambridge University Press
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Series: Science and Civilisation in China
08 May 1995
Professional and scholarly
Part I. Military Technology: (a) Introduction; (b) Chinese Literature on the Art of War Krysztof Gawlikowski; 1. The military theoreticians; 2. The military encyclopaedists; 3. Basic concepts of the classical Chinese theory of war; general principles of action; 4. Combat and competition; 5. Other components of the classical Chinese theory of war; 6. The main controversies within Chinese military thought; (c) Distinctive Features of Chinese Military Thought: 1. Reasons for its perennial vitality; 2. A syncretistic tradition; the non-military approach to war and the duties of soldiers; 3. The great popularity of military thought among the people; 4. Military thought in civil life; 5. The place of the military element (wu) in the Chinese world order; (d) Projectile Weapons: I. Archery (with Edward McEwen): 1. The bow; 2. The crossbow; 3. The social role of the bow and crossbow; Part II. Ballistic Machinery: (with Wang Ling); 4. Spring, sinew, sling and swape; definitions and distribution; 5. Forms of the arcuballista; 6. Trebuchets, manned and counterweighted; 7. Distribution and diffusion; (e) Early Poliorcetics: the Mohists to the Sung Robin D. S. Yates: 1. Early cities; 2. The twelve types of attack; Bibliographies.
Reviews for Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 6, Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges
'For this immense and astonishing work of erudition no praise can be too high ... we have a volume authoritative, fascinating and illuminating ... of contemporary Eastern and Western progress in the sciences.' W. M. Smart, Nature '... one of the great European contributions to the understanding both of the sweep of Chinese civilisation and of its contributions to Western scientific society'. New Scientist 'Needham and his distinguished collaborators deserve unqualified praise for their labours, extending over many years ...'. A. R. Michaelis, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 'Perhaps the greatest single act of historical synthesis and intercultural communication ever attempted by one man.' Laurence Picken, The Guardian ' ... a unique work of scholarship unequalled by any other in this century.' Alan Cameron, Lloyd's List '... it is very exciting'. The Times Literary Supplement 'The present text can hardly fail to intrigue anyone hooked on 'war books', weaponry, military tactics and strategy, siege warfare and the like.' Lloyd's List 'What can be said about this extraordinary work? In tracing the chronicles of Chinese development, Needham holds up the mirror to our own world, informs us of possibilities we never considered, or options of which we have only just become aware. No-one did more than Joseph Needham to open our eyes to the wonders of Chinese civilisation.' Ken Coates MEP, Full Employment: A European Appeal