Bookeater recently asked when Sun Zi's Art of War was first adopted outside China. However, Sun Zi was not the only author who wrote a treatise on this topic. Machiavelli wrote Dell'arte della guerra / The Art of War around 1519-1520 and it was the only of his theoretical works that was printed during his lifetime.

My question is a bit like the reverse of Bookeater's question: When was Machiavelli's treatise The Art of War first translated into Chinese? A simple web search did not help; I find mostly links about translations of Sun Zi's treatise ... Doing a search for 翻译 (the Chinese word for "translation") on the Chinese Wikipedia article about Machiavelli gives no results. A search in Chinese brings up pages that I can't read with my basic level of Chinese.

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    I happen to know Chinese, and after finding no results on either WorldCat.org or the National Library of Taiwan website, I'm forced to conclude that it was never translated into Chinese; the Chinese title given on the Chinese Wikipedia page seems to be a rendering of convenience.
    – CJ Sheu
    Jul 10, 2018 at 7:48
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    If you make some screenshots of search results from relevant library catalogues (also from mainland China), I'll think you can write up a valid answer.
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 25, 2018 at 14:46
  • Thanks for your vote of confidence, but I hesitate to answer without a smoking gun.
    – CJ Sheu
    Jul 25, 2018 at 15:46
  • @CJSheu There appears to be a translation published by The Commercial Press in 2012. I found it using this seach query: 马基雅维利 兵法 翻译
    – Tsundoku
    Dec 31, 2022 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The DuckDuckGo search 马基雅维利 兵法 翻译 (literally: Machiavelli Art of War translation) gave the following page as the first search result: 兵法 - 尼科洛•马基雅维里.pdf. The page contains a preview of a Chinese translation of Machiavelli's Art of War published by The Commercial Press in Beijing in 2012 (ISBN 978-7-100-09531-0).

Since CJ Sheu's searches on WorldCat.org and in the National Library of Taiwan's online catalogue got no results, I will assume that the above translation is the first one.

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