Although the text’s authorship and date of composition continues to be debated, tradition holds that it was written by the great master, , in the 6th century BCE (roughly the same time Buddha was rockin’ Nepal/India, Confucius was getting his wisdom on in another part of China and not too long before Socrates was getting his toga + hemlock on in Athens).
There are a lot of translations out there. I went with Stephen Mitchell’s simple pocket version for this Note because a) it’s a great intro if you’re new to Lao Tzu/Taoism; and, b) I love the fact that Mitchell is married to and that they co-wrote (see Notes) and A Thousand Names for Joy together! (How cool is that?!? :)
Mitchell is a remarkable guy in his own right. According to Wikipedia, he’s done translations in German, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Danish as well as interpretative versions of works in Chinese, Sanskrit and ancient Babylonian. Um, wow.