Follow us on Facebook to receive important updates Follow us on Twitter to receive important updates Follow us on's microblogging site to receive important updates Follow us on Douban to receive important updates
Chinese Text Project

All resources -> Daoism -> Dao De Jing

Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation

R.T. Ames - Ballantine Books, 2003

Book description

In 1993, archaeologists unearthed a set of ancient bamboo scrolls that contained the earliest known version of the Dao de jing. Composed more than two thousand years ago, this life-changing document offers a regimen of self-cultivation to attain personal excellence and revitalize moral behavior. Now in this luminous new translation, renowned China scholars Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the Dao de jing into our contemporary world. In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. This new version of one of the world』s most influential documents will stand as both a compelling introduction to Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation.

Reviews and discussion

Comment on "Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation"


This is another of Roger Ames' & David Hall's collaborations. As such, it is based on their interpretation(s) of early Chinese ways of thinking. I have issues with many of their generalizations, but the book is very dense and thought-provoking. While not an easy read, I recommend this book, with the caveat that one should keep in mind that theirs is one of many ways to interpret both this text and early Chinese thought in general.

Log in to write a review or comment on this book