Annals of the supreme ancestor

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Annals of the supreme ancestor

Unread postby Bailangshan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:32 pm

Hello Everyone,

I have been trying to find the "annals of the supreme ancestor" English Text. As referenced in San Guo.
I thought on here might be a good place to ask.
Can someone please help me find this?

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Re: Annals of the supreme ancestor

Unread postby Skyferia » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:10 pm

I came across your post after searching using Google's search engine and I'm surprised no one responded to your post.

I believe that the referenced annals of the supreme ancestor was likely Sun Tzu's Art of War, since the scripture was used as basis for war tactics during Shih HuangDi's reign and after his death.

I still wonder why Cao Cao called the scripture rubbish, or something along that lines. Reason of my wonder is that in my opinion, Cao Cao (based on Luo Guanzhong's highly embellished version of the Three Kingdoms era) was an excellent tactician, albeit cruel but well as they say, all's fair in love and war so to call it rubbish has to mean something.

As for the search for the text, use any major internet search engine, they should lead you to one. I particularly do not like Lionel Giles' translation but even so, his is a good start.

Do correct me if I am mistaken as I base of knowledge in my mind without cross referencing.
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Re: Annals of the supreme ancestor

Unread postby TigerTally » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:57 am

Welcome Skyferia :)

Since it is a 2-year old thread and Bailangshan did not provide much about the context of "Annals of the supreme ancestor", I am not quite sure about whether it mean the Art of War or not.

However, in the context of SGZ or 3K period, "supreme ancestor" (taizu 太祖) should mean Cao Cao. In the context of traditional Chinese historiography, the word "annal" (ji 紀) is often associated with the chronological style of the emperors' biographies, including Cao Cao's. Hence there is a high chance that Bailangshan was referring to Cao Cao's biography in SGZ, despite its formal name being the Annal of Emperor Wu (Martial Emperor). Quite a few Chinese historians have actually misquoted it as so.

On the other hand, there is nothing about the Art of War that can be considered "annalistic", and its English text is just too easily available. The historical Cao Cao has written commentaries to the Art of War but never compiled a whole new book as portrayed in Luo's novel. The story about Zhang Song reciting Cao Cao's work did not happen in history, and Cao Cao's commentaries also existed at least until the Tang Dynasty.

But then again, without more information from Bailangshan, it would be impossible to get a definite answer.
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