Laozi (also Lao-Tzu or Lao-Tze, Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ, literally “Old Master”) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
A semi-legendary figure, Laozi was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BCE contemporary of Confucius, but most modern historians consider him, assuming he existed, to have lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BCE.
A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Laozi’s work has been embraced by both various anti-authoritarian movements as well as Chinese Legalism.
Words of Wisdom
The skillful traveler leaves no traces of his wheels or footsteps.