Sun Tzu's classic is profound and lucid. Although ostensibly on military strategy, The Art of War is a treatise on the command of a hierarchical organisation in the face of conflict. It is an organised set of epigrammatic sayings on observation and planning, cunning and deception, the goals and methods of warfare, and when and how to attack and defend. These ideas have entered Chinese thought over the last two millennia, and more recently have been widely appreciated in the worlds of modern politics and business. We present the definitive translation, by Lionel Giles, assistant curator at the British Museum and Keeper of the Department of Oriental Manuscripts.