Basic Questions Thread

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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:08 pm

Hi all, one of my mates needs to find a book by a guy called 'Andokides' for his degree. He was a statesman in ancient Greece and our libabry has been worse than useless. Anybody know a good online source he could use?
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby ROTK-addict » Sun May 29, 2011 6:10 am

Not too long ago, I bought this translated version of art of war.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-War-Ancient-Chinese-Revealed/dp/1929194196/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306648958&sr=1-4

Now, the translations were done pretty well, the author translated the Chinese words word by word. But, I kinda started to have doubts of this book because the author isn't exactly an academician in ancient Chinese history. Furthermore, I did not do extensive research on which version of art of war I should get since this was an impulse purchase. I would like to hear your opinions on this book and some recommendations of this book by other authors are much appreciated. Thanks :D

PS: I had to ask here because I don't trust reviews in amazon. They can be made up
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Sun May 29, 2011 6:24 am

Have you considered comparing your book to other translations? Here's the Giles version, which is probably the most popular translation, though it is a bit old: http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html

The version I overpaid for from one of those Big Box bookstores uses this translation, btw. It's a bit cleaner and doesn't look like an Evil Overlord list, but I believe it's otherwise identical.
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby ROTK-addict » Sun May 29, 2011 6:46 am

Thanks for the helpful link :D
So is this Giles version a commonly accepted translation?

Hmm I've made initial comparison based on the first chapter.
There are some differences, but nevertheless still gives the same meaning.
Example Giles version noted (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and disciplines under the factors of laying plans. My book stated them as philosophy, climate, terrain, the commander and military methods.
In this book, the author did write down chinese version of the text so we can make a comparison between english and chinese.

However, I'm not too sure myself of the chinese texts if they are credible or not? Credible here means accepted by historians and as a standard for reference. So anyone here who can help me out with this by giving me some sources? Thanks again :)
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby laojim » Sun May 29, 2011 7:12 am

Sun Fin wrote:Hi all, one of my mates needs to find a book by a guy called 'Andokides' for his degree. He was a statesman in ancient Greece and our libabry has been worse than useless. Anybody know a good online source he could use?


I believe you should be able to cobble together a fairly detailed bio from a google search by entering "Andokides statesman" and going from there to the references in those articles. You have to include the second term or you will just get information on the rather more famous potter of the same name. I put the name into the emule search system and got a pdf file of that name thus: Andokides - mowy.pdf I put it in the download cue out of curiosity. If it turns out to be what you're looking for I can email the file.
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Sun May 29, 2011 7:39 am

ROTK-addict wrote:Thanks for the helpful link :D
So is this Giles version a commonly accepted translation?

However, I'm not too sure myself of the chinese texts if they are credible or not? Credible here means accepted by historians and as a standard for reference. So anyone here who can help me out with this by giving me some sources? Thanks again :)


Perhaps I undersold it-Giles is pretty much the King James version of the Art of War-old, but definitive. Sounds like your guy's really trying to break it down to layman's terms.

Your version sounds fine-but if you don't like it, you can always have a good piece of window dressing while you go out and buy a Giles version for four bucks in any small-time bookstore (the ones that take trades) or simply downloading a free version online (and there's quite a few places you can do this).
I don't write fanfic, but if I did it would involve Zhou Yu and Zheng He fighting to win the heart of Lai Choi San. Then I'd make them join forces to fight Ming the Merciless, who secretly works for Master Li. I'd squeeze Lu Bu in there somehow.
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby ROTK-addict » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:03 am

Hi guys, I need an opinion on this book. I will only purchase if the historic information is detailed enough, as in the book doesn't cover only the superficial parts of that particular dynasty/era.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1602209103/ref=dp_proddesc_1?ie=UTF8&n=283155

Can't believe it that there's not a website that offers an excerpt of the book :? and darn those local bookstores in my area that wrap up all their books, not even giving a chance for customers to have a preview of the books. :rangry:

Thanks :)
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:21 am

I don't know how good that book is but if not this one is pretty good:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/China-Between-E ... 037&sr=8-2

It doens't focus just on 3K but it does look at things other than the pure military/power play aspect of history that we look at here.
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby TigerTally » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:43 am

ROTK-addict wrote:Hi guys, I need an opinion on this book. I will only purchase if the historic information is detailed enough, as in the book doesn't cover only the superficial parts of that particular dynasty/era.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1602209103/ref=dp_proddesc_1?ie=UTF8&n=283155

Can't believe it that there's not a website that offers an excerpt of the book :? and darn those local bookstores in my area that wrap up all their books, not even giving a chance for customers to have a preview of the books. :rangry:

Thanks :)


I did not know about the English translation, but the original Chinese version seemed to be aimed at children. There were roughly 25 3k-period "tales" from 262 covered in the series, mostly brief descriptions of important events. So I would say yes, it is likely covering "only the superficial parts". BTW, the 3k period parts should be in vol.3 instead.

ROTK-addict wrote:Not too long ago, I bought this translated version of art of war.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-War-Ancient-Chinese-Revealed/dp/1929194196/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306648958&sr=1-4

Now, the translations were done pretty well, the author translated the Chinese words word by word. But, I kinda started to have doubts of this book because the author isn't exactly an academician in ancient Chinese history. Furthermore, I did not do extensive research on which version of art of war I should get since this was an impulse purchase. I would like to hear your opinions on this book and some recommendations of this book by other authors are much appreciated. Thanks :D

PS: I had to ask here because I don't trust reviews in amazon. They can be made up


If you want a translation from a creditable military historian, Ralph D. Sawyer 's The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China may be what you need.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0813312280
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Re: Basic Questions Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:57 am

If you want a translation from a creditable military historian, Ralph D. Sawyer 's The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China may be what you need.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0813312280


I have that at home and I can recommend it with no qualms. It was a very special 18th birthday present from my best friend :).
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