Old Peng

The identity of Old Peng (老彭), who Confucius “dares” to compare himself with in Chapter I of Book 7 of the Analects, is the source of a great deal of controversy.

Many commentators identify him as the legendary Daoist sage Pengzu (彭祖) from the Shang dynasty (1556 to 1046 BC), who is said to have lived for more than 800 years as a result of the stringent meditation, nutrition, and sexual techniques he practiced. Others suggest he may have been Laozi (老子), the author of the classic Daoist text, the Daodejing (道德經).

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 7, Chapter I

Book 7
Chapter I
子曰:「述而不作,信而好古,竊比於我老彭。」
Confucius said: “I transmit but I don’t create. I am faithful to and love the past. In this respect, I dare to compare myself with Old Peng.”

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