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PK LC 12

Known as:PK LC 12
Cite this page as:Adrian Musitz. "PK LC 12". In A Comprehensive Edition of Tocharian Manuscripts (CEToM). Created and maintained by Melanie Malzahn, Martin Braun, Hannes A. Fellner, and Bernhard Koller. https://cetom.univie.ac.at/?m-pklc12 (accessed 24 Jul. 2024).


Editor:Adrian Musitz


Collection:Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds Pelliot Koutchéen (Paris)

Language and Script


Text contents

Text genre:Non-literary
Text subgenre:Letter


Material: on paper


a1/// m[eṃ] sa ṅka ntse pa ka ccā ñi¯ ¯ś ya¯ ¯m tsmo ññe kā m· ///
a2/// ya¯ ¯p «†tsmo» «†ññe» «†sa» «kä» «ryā» «mai» wi ca ka nma to waṃ ñu
a3/// – ¯p tsmo ññe sa kā mmai ca ka nma wi
a4/// ·e [ka] mā mte ca¯ ¯k


a1/// meṃ saṅkantse pakaccāñiś yam tsmoññe kām(ai) n1 ///
a2/// yap käryāmai n2 wi cakanma towaṃ ñu
a3/// (ya)p tsmoññesa kāmmai cakanma wi
a4/// ·e kamāmte cak


a1... from ... I go for a pakaccāṃ of the saṅgha. I took up interest/profit (?)...
a2...I bought barley «†with interest»: two piculs, nine pecks.
a3...I borrowed barley with interest: two piculs.
a4... we took ... a picul.


Philological commentary

It seems likely that the author of this document is a monk, but there is also the possibility of it being a donor. The word this document revolves around is tsmoññe, the meaning of which is not entirely clear, but it seems to be something like 'interest', or (from the perspective of the lender) 'profit'. We have a parallel in PK DA M 507.37, 36 a9: wantiśkenmeṃ tsmoñesa kamāmtte, which seems to mean 'we borrowed (the ten bolts) from Wantiśke with interest'. Thus, if we want to be consistent, we have to translate tsmoññesa kam- as 'borrow with interest'. Ching seems to avoid this kind of translation, rather opting for the cumbersome 'take in (the category of) the production/profit'. It seems implausible that the phrase tsmoññesa kām- could have meant two opposite things in Tocharian. Ching's hesitation is probably best explained by considerations of Realienkunde. Would it make sense for the author of this document to take out a loan for the monastery? If the author is a donor, it wouldn't make sense to donate to a monastery if you have to take out a loan yourself. If you are a monk, it wouldn't make sense to take out a loan 'for' a pakaccāṃ, a big donation. However, since we don't really know much about the precise nature of pakaccāṃ, it seems best to suspend judgement until we figure out what this kind of donation actually entails. But the possibility raised by Ching that the author could have been a kapyāre can be rejected. The kapyāri were illiterate. Even laymen who were higher in the hierarchy (tsañi, yirpṣuki) only mark documents with their finger-measure, never a signature, which suggests that they could not read or write. This doesn't mean that there was no kapyāre involved in the borrowing-process. We're probably dealing with something similar to 'Caesar pontem fecit'.
n1While it is clear that tsmoññesa kām- means 'borrow with interest', tsmoññe kām- is not attested elsewhere and could probably mean something else.
n2käryāmai is written on a small fragment that originally covered tsmoññesa until recently Ching 2010: 231.



Ching 2010: 230-231, 461


Ching 2010

Ching, Chao-jung. 2010. “Secular documents in Tocharian: Buddhist economy and society in the Kucha region.” PhD, Paris: École Pratique des Hautes Études.