Hi I'm Zach Toombs for About.com, and today we're taking a look at ancient Chinese military general and philosopher Sun Tzu.Not much is really known about Tzu — various sources disagree about his place of birth and some historians even question if he actually existed. According to tradition, Tzu was born in 544 BC during the late Spring and Autumn Period of the Zhou Dynasty.Beginning in 512 BC, it is said he became a general for the Kingdom of Wu. He had great success and it led him to write The Art of War. The book of warring strategy became a success with the strategists in the seven other Chinese nations during the Warring States Period of 475 to 221 BC.However, as the centuries have gone on, historians have begun to question and revise when and who wrote The Art of War. The tactics and weapons described, such as crossbows, suggest the book could not have been written earlier than 500 BC. But the lack of any mention of a cavalry, which appeared in Chinese military strategy around 320 BC, suggests it was written between 400 and 320 BC.But whoever Sun Tzu was, the book of strategy attributed to him has lived on for centuries. It was used by Union generals in the American Civil War, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and is still read by cadets as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.Thanks for watching our profile of Chinese military general and philosopher Sun Tzu. For more, visit About.com.