Historical story

Discipline by Sun Tzu

Before hiring Sun Tzu as general, King Wu wanted to test his skills. To this end, he instructed the genius strategist to train his harem of 180 concubines as soldiers.

At the turn of the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE lived Sima Qian, a writer and chronicler, who in addition to his father (Sima Tan) inherited the position of court astrologer. It was the time of the Han Dynasty. He lived quite well at court until around 99 B.C. decided to stand up for General Li Ling, whose troops were defeated in the battle against the neighboring peoples threatening the state. Originally, Sima Qian was sentenced to death.

At the turn of the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE lived Sima Qian, writer and chronicler

Ultimately, it was decided to "soften" this sentence, which was replaced by ... castration. This punishment was to cover the convict with such infamy that he would decide to commit suicide . Sima Qian, however, resisted this "suggestion" and managed to finish Historian's Notes , a work whose writing was started by his father. This work mentions how the famous Sun Tzu was to be appointed general.

The Art of War

The day that Sun Tzu presented reigning King He Lu with his own masterpiece - The Art of War - this asked him if he would be able to present the principles contained in it, and in addition to women . Sun Tzu assured that yes, he made only one condition:the king was not to interfere in the course of the "training". Then about 180 women were summoned (according to other sources, there were even 360 of them) who were then in the royal harem. Two of them, which were extremely important for the king, were appointed by the famous strategist as commanders. Then he asked everyone if they knew where their heart, right and left hands and back were. When they did, he explained to them the rules of the drill, expecting them to turn in the direction he was expecting.

"The Art of War"

When he gave his first order, the women laughed at him. Sun Tzu took the blame, arguing that if the orders are incomprehensible - it is the general's fault. So he repeated exactly what he had explained before and gave the order again. He laughed again. This time, according to Sun Tzu, the commanders, the two most important concubines of the king, which he intended to behead as punishment, were to blame for this state of affairs . The king tried to oppose it, claiming that "the food will stop tasting then", but according to Sun Tzu, a general who is with the army does not always have to follow the orders of his ruler.

The mistresses were beheaded, and after the appointment of new "commanders", the drill went smoothly. King He Lu, on the other hand, actually made Sun Tzu a general, after all, he had heard from him that he was "strong in words but not in deeds."

But how much truth in this story? Nevertheless, it remains to be glad that currently, in civilized countries, such "castings" for generals are not carried out.