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Bazhen hebian tushuo 八陣合變圖說

Jan 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Bazhen hebian tushuo 八陣合變圖說 "Illustrated explanation of the combination and transformation of the eight battle arrays" is a military treatise written during the mid-Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Long Zheng 龍正 xxx, an otherwise unknown military commander of the Zhengde reign-period 正德 (1506-1521). The short text reflects his own experience as a commander in the region of Hanzhong 漢中 and includes a description of the eight moveable battle arrays. The book was printed in Sichuan. It includes charts about the battle formations, commands to make them move and transform into a new shape to fit territory and the situation in the battle. It is mainly four movements that are described in detail.

The book catalogue Qianqingtang shumu 千頃堂書目 lists a book of this title written by Lan Zhang 藍章 xxx, and one book by Long Zheng, but with the title Bazhen tuyan zhu 八陣圖演注 "Commentary to the illustrations of the development of the eight battle arrays". History goes that Lan Zhang wrote the book according to the remnants of Zhuge Liang's 諸葛亮 (181-234) fortifications in Yufu 魚腹 xxx. The idea for the changes of battle formations came into Long's mind when he played with pebble stones on the site of this ancient battlefield. The role of Long Zheng in the creation of the book remains unclear.

The Bazhen hebian tushuo is included in the series Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1628.
Pan Wenzhu 潘文竹 (2020). "Bazhen hebian tushuo kaobian 《八阵合变图说》考辨”, Dongfang luntan 东方论坛, 2020 (3): 130-139.