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

靈運因父祖之資,生業甚厚。奴僮既眾,義故門生數百,鑿山浚湖,功役無已。尋山陟嶺,必造幽峻,巖嶂千重,莫不備盡。登躡常著木履,上山則去前齒,下山去其後齒。嘗自始寧南山伐木開逕,直至臨海,從者數百人。臨海太守王琇驚駭,謂為山賊,徐知是靈運乃安。

[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: http://www.guoxue123.com/other/map/pic/07/12.jpg


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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