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Science and Civilisation in China

Science and Civilisation in China

Volume 5. Chemistry and Chemical Technology

Part 6. Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges

Part of Science and Civilisation in China

Krysztof Gawlikowski, Edward McEwen, Wang Ling, Robin D. S. Yates
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  • Date Published: March 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521327275


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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The reputation of Joseph Needham and of Science and Civilisation in China is extremely high
    • There is a good market for military history
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1995
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521327275
    • length: 620 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 199 x 43 mm
    • weight: 1.642kg
    • contains: 323 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Authors

    Joseph Needham, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge

    Robin D. S. Yates, McGill University, Montréal


    Krysztof Gawlikowski, Edward McEwen, Wang Ling, Robin D. S. Yates

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