Introduction to this Classical Library HTML edition
The Tao Te Ching (Dào Dé Jing) is divided into two books. This was often thought to be an arbitrary division; but manuscripts were discovered in 1973 in which the order of the two books was reversed. An interpretation has now been offered that the two books are intended to be about the Tao and Te. Part I begins with statements about the Tao (pronounced Dao), which means "The Way." Book II begins with statements about Te (pronounced "Duh"), which may be translated "Virtue" or "Integrity." Ching (pronounced "Jeang") means "text" or "classic." The Tao Te Ching, then, is a classic dealing with Virtue and The Way
The Tao Te Ching is the most widely read Chinese book in the world and has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. The English translation presented here is by James Legge (1815-97) which, despite the presence of more recent translations, remains impressive for its clarity and elegance. This HTML edition is based on the Project Gutenberg e-text, taote10.txt.
Classical Library, This HTML edition copyright © 2001.