Yimin Lu
University of Toronto
Righteous Arms in LSCC
Panel: Aspects of the Lw-shr Chun/Chyou
AAS Convention, New York City, 29 March 2003


About one-ninth of the LSCQ consists of discussions of military matters. Most of these are concentrated in the three Ji chapters on autumn (LSCQ 7-9), the season for military endeavours according to ancient Chinese cosmology. The concept of Yibing or "Righteous Arms," originally a Mohist term, is probably the topic most emphasized in the three Autumn chapters.

This paper will review two conflicting views on warfare which had been held since the early Warring States, those of yanbing or pacification, and yibing. It will then examine the LSCQ's answers to such questions as what acts make a war righteous, and argue that the yibing concept in the LSCQ represents progress beyond the Sun Zi's non-moralist talk of total war, as well as a theorized/matured form of moralist legitimization of China's unification by war.


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28 Sept 2003 / Contact The Project / Conferences Page