Fu Xiong, courtesy name Yuancai, originally named Pu Xiong (蒲雄), was a Di military general of Former Zhao and Former Qin during the Sixteen Kingdoms period. He was the father of Fu Jiān, the third ruler of Former Qin. During the confusion following Shi Hu's death, he served as a general under his father Pu Hong, and during the reign of his brother Fu Jiàn (note the different pinyin), he was given the role of Prime Minister. Fu Xiong's biggest contribution to the state was when he repelled a major invasion from the Grand Marshal of Jin, Huan Wen, at the Battle of Bailu Plain in 354. After Fu Jiān killed Fu Sheng and took the throne in 357, he was posthumously honoured as Emperor Wenhuan.

Fu Xiong
Prime Minister (丞相)
In office
351 (351)–354 (354)
MonarchFu Jiàn
Personal details
Died26 July 354
Spouse(s)Empress Dowager Gou
RelationsFu Jiàn (苻健) (brother)
Fu Ding (brother)
Fu Jiàn (苻鑒) (brother)
ChildrenFu Fa
Fu Jiān
Fu Rong
Fu Shuang
Fu Zhong
  • Fu Hong (father)
  • Lady Jiang (mother)
Courtesy nameYuancai (元才)
Posthumous namePrince Jingwu (敬武王)
Prince Wei (魏王)
Emperor Wenhuan (文桓皇帝)

Service under Pu/Fu HongEdit

Pu Xiong was the second child to the Di chieftain and Later Zhao general, Pu Hong. From a young age, he had a liking for military scriptures and was also good at riding and shooting. However, he was also described as ugly, having short feet and a big head, earning him the nickname "Big-headed Prancing Dragon General". He would often use his political skills to give positions in the Zhao government to commoners he saw fit. Soon, he participated in enough of his father's campaign to earn him to the position of Prancing Dragon General from Shi Hu.[1]

Later Zhao collapsed into civil war after the death of Shi Hu in 349. Pu Hong always had imperial ambitions and wanted to use the chaos to form his own state, so he refused to submit to Zhao's de facto ruler Ran Min. Pu Xiong intercepted a general of Ran Min named Ma Qiu who was on the way to Yecheng in 350. Ma Qiu was trusted by Pu Hong and was appointed a general. Later that year, Pu Hong declared himself Prince of the Three Qin and changed the family name to Fu. However, he would not live for long after, as he was poisoned by Ma Qiu at a banquet the same year.[2]

Service under Fu JiànEdit

Fu Xiong's elder brother, Fu Jiàn killed Ma Qiu and assumed the throne in 350. Fu Xiong was made his General Who Upholds The State and followed him during his campaign against Du Hong (杜洪) in Guanzhong. During the campaign, Fu Xiong defeated Du Hong's general Zhang Guang (張光). Fu Jiàn then sent Xiong to conquer the territories north of the Wei River. After Fu Jiàn occupied Chang'an, Fu Xiong destroyed the last resistance in Shanggui led by Zhao's Inspector of Liangzhou, Shi Ning (石寧).[3]

The following year, in 351, Fu Jiàn declared himself Heavenly King. Among the various titles he handed out to his subordinates and family members, Fu Xiong in particular received the important titles of Prime Minister and Commander of all military affairs. In 352, Fu Xiong and many others recommended Fu Jiàn to further declare himself emperor. Fu Jiàn agreed and declared a general amnesty.[4]

Later in 352, the Jin generals, Xie Shang and Yao Xiang, attacked the independent warlord Zhang Yu (張遇) at Xuchang. Fu Xiong and his nephew Fu Jing marched to Xuchang to prevent the city from falling to Jin. Fu Xiong routed Xie Shang at Chengqiao (誠橋; near Xuchang), causing him to retreat to Huainan. Yao Xiang also decided to withdraw to help Xie Shang. Fu Xiong then relocated Zhang Yu and thousands of households living under him back to the capital and placed Xuchang under Qin control.[5]

Near the end of the year, Fu Xiong campaigned against the Qinzhou (秦州, modern eastern Gansu) warlord Wang Zhuo at Longxi, forcing him to flee to Former Liang. In 353, Wang Zhuo struck back with reinforcements from Zhang Chonghua's generals. Fu Xiong defended with Fu Jing at Longli (龍黎, in present-day Wushan County, Gansu), where they greatly routed him, killing thousands and capturing the Liang generals Zhang Hong (張弘) and Song Xiu (宋修).[6] In the middle of the year, Fu Xiong attacked Chouchi, defeating its Duke, Yang Chu. Due to an attempted insurrection in the capital made by Zhang Yu which triggered other minor revolts, Fu Xiong was recalled back to Chang'an to defeat the rebels. Fu Xiong put down the revolt of Kong Te (孔持) and in 354 the revolt of Zhou Cheng (周成).

Huan Wen's 1st Northern ExpeditionEdit

Fu Xiong faced his biggest threat yet in 354 as he faced a major invasion from Jin. The Grand Marshal, Huan Wen, invaded Qin through Jingzhou while Sima Xun attack Qin's western borders through Liangzhou with assistance from Wang Zhuo. Fu Jiàn sent Fu Xiong, Fu Chang, Fu Jing, Fu Sheng and Fu Shuo (苻碩) to repel the invasion. Fu Xiong was badly defeated at Lantian despite the heroics of his nephew Fu Sheng. He was also defeated at Bailu Plains (白鹿原, west of Lantian County, Shaanxi) by Huan Wen's younger brother Huan Chong. As Huan Wen revelled in his victory and comforted the people around Chang'an, Fu Xiong shifted his attack over to Sima Xun, defeating him at Ziwu Valley (子午峪, in present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi).[7]

Fu Xiong fought Huan Wen at Bailu Plains again, this time getting the best of him. Huan Wen's army suffered from a shortage of food, as he initially expected there to be plenty around Chang'an. The opposite turned out true, as the Qin people had already harvested their crops prior to his coming. The fighting left more than ten thousand dead, so Huan Wen retreated from Guanzhong while bringing along thousands of those living in Qin lands. With Huan Wen dealt with, Fu Xiong drove out Sima Xun and Wang Zhuo out of Chenchang.[8]

Death and posthumous honoursEdit

Fu Xiong led his final campaign against Qiao Bing (喬秉) in Yongzhou. He passed away during the campaign from natural cause on July 26th. Fu Jiàn grew distressed from his death, lamenting, "Does Heaven not want me to conquer the Four Seas? Why else would they take my Yuancai!"[9] He posthumously named Fu Xiong Prince Jingwu and Prince of Wei. Fu Xiong was succeeded by his son Fu Jiān. In 357, Fu Jiān killed his tyrannical cousin and emperor Fu Sheng and took the throne. He posthumously honoured his father as Emperor Wenhuan after his ascension.[10]


  1. ^ (雄字元才,洪之季子也。建武中,拜龍驤將軍。雄頭大足短,故軍中稱為大頭龍驤。健甚重之,曰:「元才,吾之姬旦。」) Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, Volume 4
  2. ^ (初,季龍以麻秋鎮枹罕,冉閔之亂,秋歸鄴,洪使子雄擊而獲之,以秋為軍師將軍。) Book of Jin , Volume 112
  3. ^ (時京兆杜洪竊據長安,關中雄儁皆應之。健密圖關中,懼洪之知也,乃繕宮室於枋頭,課民種麥,示無西意。既而自稱征西大將軍、雍州刺史,盡眾西行。至盟津,起浮橋以濟,遣弟輔國將軍雄率步騎五千入自潼關,兄子揚武將軍菁率眾七千自軹關入河東。執菁手曰:「若事不捷,汝死河北,我死河南,不及黃泉,無相見也。」濟訖,焚橋;自統大眾,繼雄而進。) Book of Northern Wei, Volume 95
  4. ^ (秦丞相雄等請秦王健正尊號,依漢、晉之舊,不必效石氏之初。健從之,即皇帝位,大赦。諸公皆進爵為王。且言單于所以統壹百蠻,非天子所宜領,以授太子萇。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 99
  5. ^ (夏四月,安西將軍謝尚帥姚襄與張遇戰于許昌之誡橋,王師敗績。苻健使其弟雄襲遇,虜之。) Book of Jin, Volume 8
  6. ^ (使張弘、宗悠率步騎萬五千配擢,伐苻健。健遣苻碩禦之,戰于龍黎。擢等大敗,單騎而還,弘、悠皆沒。重華痛之,素服為戰亡吏士舉哀號慟,各遣吊問其家。) Book of Jin, Volume 86
  7. ^ (桓溫將攻上洛,獲秦荊州刺史郭敬;進擊青泥,破之。司馬勳掠秦西鄙,涼秦州刺史王擢攻陳倉以應溫。秦主健遣太子萇、丞相雄、淮南王生、平昌王菁、北平王碩帥眾五萬軍於嶢柳以拒溫。夏,四月,已亥,溫與秦兵戰於藍田。秦淮南王生單騎突陳,出入以十數,殺傷晉將士甚眾。溫督眾力戰,秦兵大敗;將軍桓沖又敗秦丞相雄於白鹿原。沖,溫之弟也。溫轉戰而前,壬寅,進至灞上。秦太子萇等退屯城南,秦主健與老弱六千固守長安小城,悉發精兵三萬,遣大司馬雷弱兒等與萇合兵以拒溫。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 99
  8. ^ (秦丞相雄擊司馬勳、王擢於陳倉,勳奔漢中,擢奔略陽。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 99
  9. ^ (及卒,健哭之歐血,曰:「天不欲吾定四海邪?何奪元才之速也!」子堅,別有載記。) Book of Jin, Volume 112
  10. ^ (追尊父雄為文桓皇帝,母苟氏為皇太后,妃苟氏為皇后,世子宏為皇太子,以清河王法為都督中外諸軍事、丞相、錄尚書事、東海公,諸王皆降爵為公。) Zizhi Tongjian, Volume 100