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Xie Lingyun 謝靈運 (385-433) and his hiking clogs


[Xie] Lingyun [385-433], having inherited his grandfather’s legacy, possessed considerable property assets. On top of a large group of servants, there were hundreds of old friends and disciples. [He had paths] carved out into the mountains and had lakes dug out: the work was endless. Whenever [he] explored mountains and ascended to the ridges, [he] always visited the most secluded pinnacles. [Despite there being] innumerable layers of rocky ridges, [he] went to each and every one of them. [He] often wore wooden clogs for trekking, removing the front cleats on his way up and the back cleats on his way down. [He] once had trees cut down to make a path from the South Mountain of Shining all the way to Linhai, [1] with hundreds of men working for him. Prefect Wang Xiu of Linhai was shocked and thought they were mountain bandits. [He] was relieved only after a while when [he] learned it was [Xie] Lingyun.


* From Shen Yue 沈約 (441-513) et al., Songshu 宋書:


[1] Shining and Linhai were located in today’s Zhejiang province, and the distance between Shining and the northern edge of Linhai was about 30 kilometres.

Detail of a historical map showing the areas mentioned in this account; see Tan Qixiang 譚其驤 ed., Zhongguo lishi dituji 中國歷史地圖集:

Album leaf by Juran 巨然 (fl. tenth century), illustrating a scene from Xie Lingyun's poems

Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei


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