An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Fei Yi 費禕

Feb 23, 2024 © Ulrich Theobald

Fei Yi 費禕 (d. 253), courtesy name Wenwei 文偉, was a high minister of the state of Shu 蜀漢 (221-263), one of the Three Empires 三國 (220~280 CE).

He hailed from Mengxian 鄳縣 in the commandery of Jiangxia 江夏 (today’s Luoshan 羅, Henan ) and was of poor origins, but he was acquainted with Xu Shulong 許叔龍 and Dong Yun 董允 (d. 246) who were retainers of the heir apparent. When Emperor Liu Shan 劉禪 (r. 223-263 CE) mounted the throne, he was made attendant gentleman of the Yellow Gate (Huangmen shilang 黃門侍郎). He rose to prominence during the southern campaigns of Counsellor-in-chief Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 (181-234), as an officer highly estimated by his troops. During a mission to the empire of Wu 吳 (222/229-280) in the east, he successfully disputed with Zhuge Ke 諸葛恪 (203-253) and Yang Dao 羊衜 (d. 232), who were both famous for their arguments. Sun Quan 孫權 (r. 222-252), the emperor of Wu, deeply respected Fei Yi. Returned to Shu, he was promoted to the post of palace attendant (shizhong 侍中).

In 230, he was made Capital Protector (zhonghujun 中護軍), and short later Chief commander (sima 司馬). At the time , commander Wei Yan 魏延 and aide to the Counsellor (zhangshi 長史) Yang Yi 楊儀 clashed in deep conflicts, but Fei Yi was able to reconcile them and allow both to apply their talents positively.

After Zhuge Liang's passing away, Fei Yi was made Commander of the Rear Army (houjunshi 後軍師), and at times acted for the Director of the Imperial Secretariat (shangshu ling 尚書令), Jiang Wan 蔣琬 (d. 246). He was given the title of General-in-chief (da jiangjun 大將軍) and Overseer of the Imperial Secretariat (lu shangshu shi 錄尚書事), and regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of the province of Yizhou 益州, and was invested as Marquis of the Township of Chengxiang 成鄉侯 for his successful military campaigns in the Hanzhong 漢中 region against the empire of Wei 曹魏 (220-265).

Fei Yi was killed by Guo Xun 郭循, a defector from Wei. His posthumous title is Marquis Jing 成鄉敬侯. Fei Yi was one of the "four great politicians of Shu" (siying 四英), the others being Zhuge Liang, Jiang Wan, and Dong Yun.

Wang Tianxing 王天興, Wang Xingya 王興亞, Wang Zongyu 王宗虞, eds. (1991). Henan lishi mingren cidian 河南歷代名人辭典 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe), 90.
Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, eds. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 548.
Yi Xingguo 衣興國, ed. (1988). Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 228.