11. The Nine Situations

43

When you leave your own country behind, and take your army across neighborhood territory, you find yourself on critical ground.

This "ground" is curiously mentioned in VIII. ss. 2, but it does not figure among the Nine Situations or the Six Calamities in chap. X. One's first impulse would be to translate it distant ground," but this, if we can trust the commentators, is precisely what is not meant here. Mei Yao-ch`en says it is "a position not far enough advanced to be called 'facile,' and not near enough to home to be 'dispersive,' but something between the two." Wang Hsi says: "It is ground separated from home by an interjacent state, whose territory we have had to cross in order to reach it. Hence, it is incumbent on us to settle our business there quickly." He adds that this position is of rare occurrence, which is the reason why it is not included among the Nine Situations.

When there are means of communication on all four sides, the ground is one of intersecting highways.

Copy and paste to reference this passage:
HTML
TEXT
blog comments powered by Disqus