The Tao Te Ching (UK: /ˌt t ˈɪŋ/,[1] US: /ˌd dɛ ˈɪŋ/;[2] simplified Chinese: 道德经; traditional Chinese: 道德經; pinyin: Dàodé Jīng [tâʊ ̌ tɕíŋ] (listen))[note 1] is a Chinese classic text written around 400 BC and traditionally credited to the sage Laozi,[7][8] though the text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated.[9] The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC,[10] but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been written—or at least compiled—later than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi.[11]

Quick facts: Author, Original title, Country, Languag...
Tao Te Ching
Ink on silk manuscript of the Tao Te Ching, 2nd century BC, unearthed from Mawangdui
AuthorLaozi (traditionally credited)
Original title道德經
CountryChina (Zhou)
LanguageClassical Chinese
GenrePhilosophy
Publication date
4th century BC
Published in English
1868
Original text
道德經 at Chinese Wikisource
TranslationTao Te Ching at Wikisource
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Quick facts: Tao Te Ching, Traditional Chinese, Simpl...
Tao Te Ching
Traditional Chinese道德經
Simplified Chinese道德经
Wade–GilesTao42 Ching1
Hanyu PinyinDào Dé Jīng
Literal meaning"Classic of the Way and Virtue"
Laozi's Tao Te Ching
Traditional Chinese老子《道德經》
Simplified Chinese老子《道德经》
Wade–GilesLao³ Tzŭ³ Tao⁴ Tê² Ching1
Hanyu PinyinLǎozǐ Dàodé Jīng
Daode Zhenjing
Traditional Chinese道德真經
Simplified Chinese道德真经
Wade–GilesTao⁴ Tê² Chên1 Ching1
Hanyu PinyinDàodé Zhēnjīng
Literal meaning"Sutra of the Way and Its Power"
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Quick facts: Other names, Laozi, Chinese, Wade–Giles, Hany...
Other names
Laozi
Chinese老子
Wade–GilesLao³ Tzŭ³
Hanyu PinyinLǎozǐ
Literal meaning"Old Master"
5000-Character Classic
Chinese五千文
Wade–GilesWu³ Ch'ien1 Wên²
Hanyu PinyinWǔqiān Wén
Literal meaning"The 5000 Characters"
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The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely out and it is one of the most translated texts in world literature.[10]