Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fiyanggû

FIYANGGÛ 費揚古(武),1645–1701, Sept., general, was a member of the Donggo clan. His elder sister, Empress Hsiao-hsien [q. v.], was the favorite secondary consort of Emperor Shih-tsu. For her sake the emperor in 1657 raised the hereditary rank of their father, Oši (see under Hsiao-hsien), a veteran of many wars, to earl of the third class. Oši died, however, in the same year. Fiyanggû succeeded to the rank in 1658 and sixteen years later served as a minor officer in the army of Yolo [q. v.] against the troops of Wu San-kuei [q. v.]. Having won some distinction in the field, he was recalled to Peking in 1679 and rewarded in the next year with the post of a chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard and a seat in the council of princes and high officials. In 1690 he took part with Fu-ch'üan [q. v.] in the operations against the Eleuth Khan, Galdan [q. v.]. After the latter escaped to his country in Sungaria the menace of the belligerent Eleuths loomed over north China. In 1693 Fiyanggû was given the title of An-pei Chiang-chün 安北將軍 (General for the Pacification of the North), to serve as the first military governor of Kweihwa. When it became known in 1695 that Galdan was invading the Khalkas again, and that he had sent letters to the Mongol chieftains urging them to sever their connection with China and to join him in a march southward, Emperor Shêng-tsu, bent on retaining his control over the Mongols, determined to deal a decisive blow against the ambitious Khan of the Eleuths. Fiyanggû strongly supported the imperial military plans and in turn was trusted. Early in 1696 he was made generalissimo, with the title Fu-yüan Ta Chiang-chün 撫遠大將軍, and the emperor began to direct the campaign in person.

The armies advanced along three routes. Sabsu [q. v.] was placed in command of several thousand Manchu troops to guard the eastern part of Mongolia, should Galdan attempt a thrust that way. The western army, perhaps the flower of the empire, was entrusted to Fiyanggû, and was composed of two divisions. The first, about 24,000 strong, marched under Fiyanggû from Kweihwa on March 20; the other, comprising about 22,400 men, with Sun Ssŭ-k'o [q. v.] in command, started from Ninghsia, Kansu, six days later. The two divisions were to meet at Ongin, a post-station in Mongolia, where the combined forces would march towards the Tola River. The central army, with about 33,000 men under the Emperor's personal com­mand, set forth from Peking on April 1 with the understanding that his army would join the western one about the end of May at a place north of the Tola River, where the Eleuths were reported to be camping. The two western divisions were delayed about ten days by bad weather, but met a little north of Ongin about May 11. Fiyanggû and Sun Ssŭ-k'o sent some 14,000 picked troops in advance to make up for the delay. The Emperor’s central route army reached the Kerulun River a little in advance, about June 7. He expected resistance from Galdan, but observed that he was fleeing westward with his men. After a few days of fruitless chase the emperor put Maska [q. v.] in command of several thousand pursuing troops and turned south to Torin. Although never overtaken by Maska, Galan was trapped by Fiyanggû on June 12 at Jao Modo, near Urga (see under Sun Ssŭ-k'o). The Eleuths suffered a serious defeat, losing a large number of men, besides many cattle and provisions, most of which they had wrested from the Mongols in the previous year. Galdan's wife was killed in action, but he himself escaped with a handful of men. The battle not only defeat Galdan a decisive blow but induced the Mongols to make an alliance with China from which for two hundred years to come they never departed. But Emperor Shêng-tsu was still not at ease, for with Galdan back in his own country the menace continued. Another campaign was made in 1697, with Fiyanggû in command—the emperor going as far as Ninghsia to direct the advance. The expedition did not proceed far into the desert because Galdan, desperate and beaten, took his own life on May 3, 1697. On hearing this the emperor returned to Peking and the armies were withdrawn.

Fiyanggû was awarded the rank of a duke of the first class and was ordered to look after the disbandment of troops and other affairs. In 1698 he returned to Peking to attend to the less strenuous duties of a chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard. In September 1701, while accompanying the emperor on a tour in Jehol, he was stricken with an illness and was escorted back to Peking by imperial command. The news of his death reached the emperor on October 2, when the latter was on his way back to the capital. Fiyanggû was canonized as Hsiang-chuang 襄壯 and in 1732 his name was placed in the Temple of Eminent Statesman. His son, Centai 陳(辰)泰, succeeded to the lower rank of a first class marquis, but when accused of cowardice in fighting the Eleuths at Kobdo in 1731 (see under Furdan) he was deprived of his ranks and was probably executed in the following year. The hereditary rank of marquis then passed on to another son of Fiyanggû, and in 1749 the rank was given the designation, Chao-wu (昭武侯).

Fiyanggû was loved and respected by the people of Kweihwa. About March 12, 1698, when he was leaving that city, the soldiers and merchants came to bid him farewell, and soon thereafter they erected a temple with his image in it, though he was still living. His prestige among the Mongols, also, was very high. Per­haps it is more than a coincidence that his successor as military governor was an Imperial Clansman of the same name, Fiyanggû 費揚古 (the last character sometimes written 固, d. 1723). The appointment of this second Fiyanggû early in 1697 was probably made in an effort to keep the favor of the Mongols and perhaps cause some to believe that the first Fiyanggû was still watching over them. As might be expected, the two personages were often confused by later writers. In contemporary documents the first Fiyanggû was differentiated from the second by prefixing to his name the words 伯 (Earl) or 公 (Duke—in or after 1697).

The second Fiyanggû was the eighth son of Dodo [q. v.], and was at first made a noble of Imperial Lineage of the eleventh rank (1663). He served for more than twenty-one years (January 1, 1697–1718) at Kweihwa and retired in 1718 on reaching old age. In 1719 he was, for some reason, punished by being deprived of all his ranks.


[1/287/1a; 1/175/4a; 3/266/12a; P'ing-ting Shuo-mo fang-lüeh (see under Chang Yü-shu); Howorth, H. H.; History of the Mongols (1876) I, 629-40; Maska [q. v.], Sai-pei chi-ch'êng; Hsi-chêng lüeh (see under Sun Ssŭ-k'o); Tung-hua lu, Yung-chêng 10:2; China Review, vol. 9 (1880-81), pp. 171–72; de Mailla, M., Histoire Générale de la Chine (1780), vol. 11, pp. 179–294.]

Fang Chao-ying