An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經

Nov 19, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經 "Classic of the Bright White Yin [Star]" is a military treatise written by the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) military governor Li Quan 李筌 xxx. The full title of the book is Shenji zhidi taibaiyin jing 神機制敵太白陰經 "Classic of the Bright White Yin Star about checking the enemy by divine surprise". The book has a length of 10 juan.

Although the title suggests that supernatural forces are involved, the Taibaiyin jing says clearly that the outcome of a battle depends decisively on a good planning by the commander, and that the bravery of the troops depended on the right use of punishment and reward. Victory was also a result of good conduct of government. Only when a ruler was benevolent in the Confucian sense his state would be wealthy, and the troops be willing to fight for their lord. The general had to attract competent advisors and to make use of natural conditions during war. His army had to be an active player, while the enemy had to be forced to do what the advantage commanded.

The Taibaiyin jing provides a lot of information on military conduct, weapons and tools for a war of attack and for defence, military camps, battle arrays, official communication, the care for men and horses, the observation of the environment and the weather, and some mantic aspects correlated to cosmology. It is a resummé of information already provided by earlier writers, but in some points, new details are described. The Taibaiyin jing is therefore often quoted in the encylopaedia Tongdian 通典.

The Taibaiyin jing is included in the series Mohai jinhu 墨海金壺, which reproduces a Song-period 宋 (960-1279) manuscript.

Table 1. Contents of the Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經
人謀上 Strategic planning for personnel
1 陰經總序(原闕)/td> Prefeace xxx
2 天地無陰陽篇(原闕) Heaven and Earth are not determined by Yin and Yang
3 人無勇怯篇/td>
4 主有道徳篇/td> The sovereign exerts the Way and the power of virtue
5 國有强富篇/td> States have strength and wealthG
6 賢有遇時篇/td>
7 將有智勇篇/td> Generals have wisdom and courage
8 實有陰經篇/td>
9 數有探心篇/td>
10 政有誅强篇/td>
11 善師篇
12 貴和篇
13 廟勝篇
14 沈謀篇
15 子卒篇
16 選士篇
17 勵士篇
18 刑賞篇
19 地勢篇
20 兵形篇
21 作戰篇
22 攻守篇
23 行人篇
24 鑒才篇
[雜儀 Various ceremonies and rules]
25 授鉞篇 Handing over the ceremonial axe
26 部署篇 Dispositions of battalions
27 將軍篇 The general
28 陣將篇 Commanders in battle
29 隊將篇 Commanders of infantry battalions
30 馬將篇 Commanders of cavalry
31 鑒人篇 The inspection of troops
32 相馬篇 The inspection of horses
33 誓衆軍令篇 Swearing in the troops and giving commands
34 關塞四夷篇 Passes and the four barbarians
戰具類 Battle tools
35 攻城具篇 Tools for attacking a city
36 守城具篇 Tools for defending a city
37 水攻具篇 Tools for water attack
38 火攻具篇 Tools for fire attack
39 濟水篇 Tools for crossing rivers
40 水戰具篇 Tools for naval battles
41 器械篇 Banners and weapons
42 軍裝篇 Various equipment
[預備 Dispositions and preliminary arrangements]
預備總序 Preface to dispositions and preliminary arrangements
43 築城篇 The construction of city walls
44 鑿濠篇 The construction of moats
45 弩臺篇 Crossbow platforms
46 烽燧臺篇 Signal towers with fire beacons
47 馬鋪土河篇 Horse stations and guard posts
48 遊奕地聼篇 Reconnoitering
49 報平安篇 Hourly reports of the watch
50 嚴警皷角篇 Strict observance of drums and cornets
51 定舖篇 The erection of posts outside the camp
52 夜號更刻篇 Signals for the night and the nightwatch
53 鄉導篇 Scouts
54 井泉篇 Wells
55 迷途篇 Gone astray
56 搜山燒草篇 Scanning mountains and burning grass
57 前茅後殿篇 Cane in the front and protection from the back
58 釁皷篇 Smearing blood on the drums
59 屯田篇 Agro-colonies
60 人糧馬料篇 Food and fodder
61 軍資篇 Funds for rewards
62 宴設音樂篇 Banquets and music
[陣圖 Charts of battle arrays]
63 陣圖總序 Preface to charts of battle arrays
64 風后握奇壘圖篇 The Lord of the Wind's control by the wall of unexpected [movements]
65 太白營圖篇 The arrangement of the White Star
66 偃月營圖篇 The arrangement of the halfmoon
67 陰陽隊圖篇 The Yin-Yang divisions
68 教旗圖篇 Instruction on banners
69 草教圖篇 Instruction on hunting
70 教弩篇圖 Instruction on the crossbow
71 合而為一陣篇 The contracted and unified battle array
72 離而為八陣圖篇 The dispersed and eightfold battle array
[祭文、捷書、藥方 Sacrificial texts, marching orders, medical formulas]
祭文書藥方總序 Preface to sacrificial texts and formulas for medical treatment
73 禡牙文篇 Sacrificial text to hallow the lead banner before starting a campaign
74 禡馬文篇 Text for the sacrifice of a horse before starting a campaign
75 祭蚩尤文篇 Text for the sacrifice to Chi You, the God of War
76 祭名山大川文篇 Text for sacrifices to the great mountains and rivers
77 祭風伯雨師文篇 Text for sacrifices to the Earl of the Wind and the Master of Rain
78 祭毗沙門天王文 Text for the sacrifice to Vaiśravaṇa the Heavenly King
79 捷書露布篇 Marching orders
80 治人藥方篇 Formulas for the medical treatment of troops
81 治馬藥方篇 Formulas for the medical treatment of horses
[雜占] Various divination methods
81 雜占總叙 Preface on various divination methods
82 占日篇 Divination by the sun
83 占月氣色篇 Divination by the moon and colours of qi
84 有占五星篇 Divination by the five planets
85 占流星篇 Divination by comets
86 占客星篇 Divination by "guest stars"
87 占妖星篇 Divination by demonic stars
88 占雲氣篇 Divination by cloudy qi
分野占篇 Divination by congruence of geography and stars
風角篇 Divination by the sound of the wind
五音占風篇 Divination by determining the wind by sounds
鳥情占篇 Divination by birds
遁甲 Dunjia divination
〔遁甲總序〕 Preface on dunjia divination
龜卜篇 Divination by tortoise shells
Chen Yaru 陈亚如 (1993). "Taibaiyin jing duiyu Zhongguo bingfa zhi gongxian 《太白阴经》对于中国兵法之贡献", Xueshu yuekan 学术月刊, 1993 (3): 49-52.
Chen Ying 陳瑛, Xu Qixian 許啟賢, ed. (1989). Zhongguo lunli da cidian 中國倫理大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 92.
Guo Shaolin 郭绍林 (2002). "Tangdai wenren Li Quan de bingshu Taibaiyin jing 唐代文人李筌的兵书《太白阴经》", Xi'an Waiguoyu Daxue xuebao 西安外国语大学学报, 2002 (2): 114-117.
Hu Dongyuan 胡东原, Zhang Dexiang 张德湘 (2008). "Taibaiyin jing junshi lunli sixiang yanjiu 《太白阴经》军事伦理思想研究", Nanjing Ligong Daxue xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 南京理工大学学报(社会科学版), 2008 (5): 115-118.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1618.
Liu Qing 劉慶 (1996). "Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經", in Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, ed. Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), 415.
Lü Bo 吕博 (2010). "Tangdai bulu de liangqi xingtai ji qi xingzheng, liyi yunzuo yi yi Taibaiyin jing Bulu pian wei zhongxin 唐代露布的两期形态及其行政、礼仪运作——以《太白阴经·露布篇》为中心", Wei-Jin-Nanbeichao-Sui-Tang shi ziliao 魏晋南北朝隋唐史资料, 2012: 144-165.
Tang Kaijian 汤开建 (1986). "Taibaiyin jing Guansai siyi pian Longyou, Hexi, Beiting, Anxi, Fanyang wu dao buzu, dili kaozheng 《太白阴经·关塞四夷篇》陇右、河西、北庭、安西、范阳五道部族、地理考证", Qinghai shehui kexue 青海社会科学, 1986 (3): 50-63, 103.
Tang Kaijian 汤开建 (1986). "Taibaiyin jing Guansai siyi pian Guannei dao, Huanghe-Bei dao, Hedong dao buzu, dili kaozheng 《太白阴经·关塞四夷篇》关内道、黄河北道、河东道部族、地理考证", Qinghai shehui kexue 青海社会科学, 1986 (1): 47-57.
Xie Xianghao 谢祥皓 (2016). "Taibaiyin jing 《太白阴经》", Sunzi yanjiu 孙子研究, 2016 (1), 130.
Xu Yong 徐勇 (1994). "Du Taibaiyin jing Jiang you zhimou pian 读《太白阴经·将有智谋篇》", Yantai Daxue xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 烟台大学学报(哲学社会科学版), 1994 (1): 59.
Zhang Lie 张烈 (1989). "Taibaiyin jing 太白陰經", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 981.
Zhang Wencai 张文才 (2004). "Lun Taibaiyin jing de junshi sixiang ji qi zhuyao tese 论《太白阴经》的军事思想及其主要特色", Junshi lishi yanjiu 军事历史研究, 2004 (3): 133-143.