• The Zotero library underlying the CEToM bibliography is now public and can be viewed here.
  • We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Thomas Oberlies and Pratik Rumde from the Seminar für Indologie und Tibetologie of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen for providing our project with scans of the nachlass of Wilhelm Siegling. The nachlass includes letters to and from Siegling throughout his career that are of great importance to the history of the field of Tocharian studies. This material will be published on CEToM, accompanied by transcriptions of the letters, in the course of 2024.


Work in progress

THT 496

Known as:THT 496; B 496; Bleistiftnummer 2626
Cite this page as:Hannes A. Fellner. "THT 496". In A Comprehensive Edition of Tocharian Manuscripts (CEToM). Created and maintained by Melanie Malzahn, Martin Braun, Hannes A. Fellner, and Bernhard Koller. (accessed 01 Dec. 2023).


Editor:Hannes A. Fellner
Date of online publication:2015-09


Main find spot:Qizil Miŋ-Öy
Expedition code:T III MQ 17.39
Collection:Berlin Turfan Collection (BBAW)

Language and Script

Linguistic stage:late

Text contents

Text genre:Literary
Text subgenre:Poetry


Material: ink on paper
Number of lines:8


Images from by courtesy of the International Dunhuang Project Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Orientabteilung.


a1[lt]s[e] pi [k]a la [wa] taṃ (·)e (–) c[i](·) (·)e /// /// (·)nts(·) [p](·) a sk(·) sk(·) (–) ñ(·) (–) [sa] n[o]¯ ¯s̝ śo [m]o ñ·[¯] [¯m]
a2– lme ·[ā] r[e] tā ka mā ra [po] staṃ ci sa lā re ma ske ta¯ ¯rñ : ci ṣṣe la rau mñe ci ṣṣe ā rta ñye pe lke ka ltta
a3·ra śo la mpa ṣṣe mā t· stā lle śo¯ ¯l wä rñai : [2] tai ysu pa lska no¯ ¯ym sa nai ṣa ryo
a4mpa śā yau ka rttse – [ś]au lu wä rñai snai tse re kwa snai tā – :
a5yā mo¯ ¯r ñī kte ṣe c[au] ñī pa lska ñe śa rsa tu sa ysa lye
a6rsa te ci ṣya ra[¯] [¯śä] ñi sa lkā te : wā ya «ci» lau ke tsyā ra ñi¯ ¯śä
a7we tke lykau tka¯ ¯ñä pā ke po la kle nta¯ ¯s ci ṣe tsā rwo sa mpā
a8(– – – – – –) (·)e [ś]o[¯] [¯l] [pa] l[s](·)a ra¯ ¯śä ñī ko¯ ¯m ko¯ ¯m


2b (ya)a1ltsen1n2 pikala watäṃ ·e – ci(ṣṣ)e /// /// ; – – ·nts· p(o) ask(a)sk(au)
2c (mā) ñ(i) (ci)sa noṣ ; śomo ñ(e)m a2n3 (wno)lme ; (l)āre tāka mā ra postaṃ ; cisa lāre mäsketär-ñ :
2d ciṣṣe laraumñe ; ciṣṣe ārtañye ; pelke kalttaa3(r)r«†ä»n4 śolämpa ṣṣe ; mā t(e) stālle śol wärñai : 2
3a taiysu pälskanoym ; sanai ṣaryoa4mpan5n6 ; śāyau karttse(ś) śaulu-wärñai ; snai tserekwa snai – :
3b a5n7 yāmor-ñīkte ṣe ; cau ñī palskañe ; śarsa tusa ysaly= ea6rsaten8n9 ; ciṣy= araś ñi sälkāte :
3c wāya ci lauke ; tsyāra ñiś a7n10 wetke ; «k»ly«†k»autka-ñ pāke po läklenta«nt»s ; ciṣe tsārwo sampāa8(te-ñ)n11
3d – – – – – – ·e ; śol pals(k)= araś ñī ; kom-kom mī…


a1 ... for a (thou)sand years ... (of) you ... a(ll) (I) announce ... Previously, there was (no) (living be)ing n(a)med human dearer to me than (you).
a2 Hereafter, likewise there will be no one (d)earer to me than you. [My] affection for you, [my] love for you are together like breath
a3 with life. Th(is) shall not change [all my] life long. Thus I was constantly thinking: "With the very beloved one
a4 I will live (for) good lifelong, without deceit, without ..."
a5 God Karma for one knew [that] this is my thought. Thus he evoked excitation.
a6 He pulled out my heart which belongs to you. He led you far away and separated me [from you].
a7 He made me take part in all sufferings and depriv(ed me) of the joy provided by you.
a8 ... my life, my spir(it), my heart day by day ...


a1+ No human being has [ever] before been dearer to me than you, and none will be dearer to me than you afterwards. (Peyrot 2013c: 304)
a3+ So dachte ich: "Mit der einen Geliebten werde ich gut [wtl. (zum) Guten] leben ein Leben lang ohne Trug [und] ohne Verstellung(?)." (Schmidt 1974: 182)
a5+ Gott Karman allein wusste solches mein Denken. Deshalb rief er Zwietracht hervor [oder: rief bei sich Neid hervor] [und] entriss mir das dir gehörige Herz. Er führte dich fort, trennte mich ab [und] ließ mich an allen Leiden teilhaben. Die Freude an dir nahm er mir fort. (Schmidt 1974: 335, 386, 469)


Philological commentary

German translation after Thomas 1954b: 80: Früher war mir (kein) Mensch genanntes Wesen lieber als du, auch später ist mir keins lieber als du. [2c] Die Liebe zu dir, das Gefallen an dir ist Atem zusammen mit dem Leben. Dieses soll sich lebenslänglich nicht ändern. [2d] So dachte ich: Mit der einen Geliebten werde ich gut leben lebenslänglich ohne Trug [und] ohne Gehabe (?). [3a] Der Gott Karman allein wußte solches mein Denken. Deshalb rief er Zwietracht hervor [und] entriß mir das dir gehörige Herz. [3b] Er führte dich fort, trennte mich ab [und] ließ mich teilhaben an allen Leiden. Die Freude an dir nahm er (mir) fort.
French translation after Pinault 2008b: 32: ... mille ans ... [2c] D'être vivant portant le nom d'humain, il n'en fut pas auparavant de plus cher pour moi que toi, et il n'en sera pas non plus dans l'avenir de plus cher que toi pour moi. [2d] L'affection pour toi, l'amitié pour toi constitue le souffle associé à la vie tout ensemble. Ceci ne doit pas changer la vie durant. [3a] Ainsi je ne cessais de penser: Avec une unique amante je vivrai pour le bonheur la vie durant, sans duperie ni tromperie. [3b] Le die Acte seul a su cette pensée mienne. C'est pourquoi il a suscité la querelle, il m'a arraché le cœur tien. [3c] Il t'a emmenée au loin, il m'a entraîné á part, il m'a fait prendre part à toutes les souffrances; il m'a enlevé la consolation que tu étais. [3d] ... la vie, l'esprit, le cœur miens, jour après jour ...
English translation after Adams 2013b: 26–28: ... for a thousand years however, Thou wilt tell the story (?) Thy ... I announce, [2b] Heretofore there was no human being dearer to me than thee, likewise hereafter there will be no one dearer to me than thee. [2c] Thy love! Thy affection! [My] jubilant song rises up! Along with life [itself], this should not come to an end for [my] whole life. [2d] Thus I was thinking: “I will live with one lover well [for the whole of my] life, without deceit, without ...” [3a] The Karma-god alone recognized this, my thought. Thus he provoked a quarrel; it ripped out my heart [that belonged] to thee; [3b] it led thee afar, it tore me apart, it turned me into a partaker of all sorrows; he took away the consolation [I had] in thee. [3c] ... my life, spirit, and heart day-by-day ...
n2 (ya)ltse is emended by Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 8. watäṃ may also be read as wat, i.e. wat\, cf. Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 10 and Adams 2013b: 17f. The latter also emends [w]e(ṃ)t no ciṣṣe – – ñ(iś caina)nts p[o] after watäṃ, of which ciṣṣe and po seem plausible. ask(a)sk(au) is emended by Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 12 and corrected to aksaskau (see Linguistic commentary). (mā) ñ(i ci)sa emended by Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 13.
n6 The last word in this line has been read as snai-tāte by Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307, Thomas 1954b: 78 and Adams 2013b: 18. Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 21 suggests snai-nāne as a possible reading as well, which is given in Thomas and Krause 1964: 72. Adams 2013b: 27 also gives snai-t/nāte. KT Schmidt apud Otto 2007: 112 fn. 12 and Pinault 2008b: 20 read this word as snai-tā(r)śai. Since there are too many possibilities and the issue cannot be settled (yet) we do not commit to a specific variant (for now).
n9 In the phrase wāya ci lauke the ci has been added by another hand according to Sieg and Siegling 1953: 308 fn. 2.
n10 lykautka-ñ misspelled for klykautka-ñ and läklentas for läklentants.


Verso side covered with paperboard.

Linguistic commentary

n1 Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 9 corrects pikala to pik{w}ala, but the loss of the labial element of the labiovelar could be a feature of colloquial/late TB, see Fellner 2006. The form ask(a)sk(au) could be a colloquial/late form of aksaskau and not a spelling error, cf. colloquial Engl. aks for ask. Colloquial/late noṣ śomo for nauṣ śaumo, for the change au > o see Peyrot 2008b: 53f.
n3 Colloquial/late ārtañye for ārttalñe; for the change lñe > ñye see Peyrot 2008b: 64f. Colloquial (?) kaltta(r)r for kaltär.
n4 Colloquial/late śolämpa for śaulämpa and śol for śaul; for the change au > o see Peyrot 2008b: 53f.
n5 Colloquial/late karttse(ś) for kartseśc; for the change śc > ś see Peyrot 2008b: 70f. Depending on the reading (see Philologically commentary) the last word of this line has been translated as German ohne Gehabe in the reading snai-tāte by Thomas 1954b: 80 and as French sans tromperie in the reading snai-tā(r)śai by Pinault 2008b: 24f. The reading snai-tāte (Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307, Thomas 1954b: 78 and Adams 2013b: 18) was never explained regarding its morphological derivation, whereas the reading snai-nāne (Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307 fn. 21) is connected with "to appear" by Thomas and Krause 1964: 203, cf. also Adams 2013a s.v., without any further explanation. Pinault 2008b: 24f. proposes a relationship with tarśauna [TA tārśoṃ] "deception". However, tarśauna would be expected to have a singular tārśi*, cf. nom./obl. sg. B_reki , nom./obl. sg. B_rekauna . Obl. sg. tārśai, which seems to be attested in THT 213, could be consolidated with a nom. sg. tarśiye. In the latter case the derived adjective tārśī(cce) in THT 133 b5 would be problematic since a derivative of a noun in nom. sg. -iye, obl. sg. -ai would have the oblique as its derivational basis, cf. B_proskiye "fear, worry, danger" : B_proskaiṣṣe "pertaining to fear, worry, danger".
n7 Colloquial/late palskañe for palskalñe, for the change lñe > ñye see Peyrot 2008b: 64f.
n8 Colloquial/late araś for arañc, for the change ñc > ṃś > ś see Peyrot 2008b: 70.
n11 Colloquial/late kom for kauṃ, for the change au > o see Peyrot 2008b: 53f.

Alternative linguistic/paleographic classifications

Peyrot 2008b L
Tamai 2011a L1
Tamai 2011a C14


Online access

IDP: THT 496; TITUS: THT 496


Sieg and Siegling 1953: 307-308; Pinault 2008b: 19-32; Adams 2013b: 17-26


Adams 2013b: a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 (26-28); Hackstein 1995: a5 a6 (47); Meunier 2013: a1 a2 (140), a7 (151); Peyrot 2013c: a1 a2 (304); Pinault 1989a: a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 (15); Pinault 2008b: a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 (32); Schmidt 1974: a3 a4 (182), a5 a6 (469), a5 a6 a7 a8 (335), a5 a6 a7 a8 (335, 386, 469), a6 a7 (386); Thomas 1954b: a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 (80), a1 a2 a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 (80); Thomas 1957: a1 a2 (186), a3 a4 (66), a5 a6 a7 (186); Thomas 1958a: a1 a2 (137); Thomas 1967c: a1 a2 (68); Thomas 1969a: a5 (239)


Adams 2013a

Adams, Douglas Q. 2013a. A dictionary of Tocharian B. Revised and greatly enlarged. 2nd ed. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

Adams 2013b

Adams, Douglas Q. 2013b. “More thoughts on Tocharian B prosody.” Tocharian and Indo-European Studies 14: 3–30.

Fellner 2006

Fellner, Hannes A. 2006. “On the development of labiovelars in Tocharian.” In Proceedings of the seventeenth annual UCLA Indo-European conference, Los Angeles October 27–28, 2005, edited by Karlene Jones-Bley, Martin E. Huld, Angela Della Volpe, and Miriam Robbins Dexter, 52:51–65. JIES Monogr. Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man.

Hackstein 1995

Hackstein, Olav. 1995. Untersuchungen zu den sigmatischen Präsensstammbildungen des Tocharischen. HS Erg.-Heft 38. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.


“The International Dunhuang Project: The Silk Road Online.” n.d.

Meunier 2013

Meunier, Fanny. 2013. “Typologie des locutions en yām- du tokharien.” Tocharian and Indo-European Studies 14: 123–85.

Otto 2007

Otto, Claude. 2007. “Bemerkungen zum westtocharischen Lexem ṣarya ‘Geliebte’.” Historische Sprachforschung 120: 110–14.

Peyrot 2008b

Peyrot, Michaël. 2008b. Variation and change in Tocharian B. Vol. 15. Leiden Studies in Indo-European. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

Peyrot 2013c

Peyrot, Michaël. 2013c. The Tocharian subjunctive. A study in syntax and verbal stem formation. Vol. 8. Brill’s Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

Pinault 1989a

Pinault, Georges-Jean. 1989a. “Introduction au tokharien.” LALIES VII. Actes des sessions de linguistique et de littérature (Aussois, 27 août – 1er septembre 1985), 5–224.

Pinault 2008b

Pinault, Georges-Jean. 2008b. Chrestomathie tokharienne. Textes et Grammaire. Leuven/Paris: Peeters.

Schmidt 1974

Schmidt, Klaus T. 1974. “Die Gebrauchsweisen des Mediums im Tocharischen.” PhD thesis, Universität Göttingen.

Sieg and Siegling 1953

Sieg, Emil, and Wilhelm Siegling. 1953. Tocharische Sprachreste. Sprache B, Heft 2. Fragmente Nr. 71-633. Edited by Werner Thomas. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Tamai 2011a

Tamai, Tatsushi. 2011a. Paläographische Untersuchungen zum B-Tocharischen. Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft 138. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen.

Thomas 1954b

Thomas, Werner. 1954b. “Ein tocharischer Liebesbrief.” Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung 71: 78–80.

Thomas 1957

Thomas, Werner. 1957. Der Gebrauch der Vergangenheitstempora im Tocharischen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Thomas 1958a

Thomas, Werner. 1958a. “Zum Ausdruck der Komparation beim tocharischen Adjektiv.” Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung 75: 129–69.

Thomas 1967c

Thomas, Werner. 1967c. “Zu den Ausdrücken mit A ñom, B ñem im Tocharischen.” Indogermanische Forschungen 72: 58–78.

Thomas 1969a

Thomas, Werner. 1969a. “Bemerkungen zum Gebrauch von toch. A ptāñkät [B pañäkte, pudñäkte], A koṃ [B kauṃ]: A koṃñkät [B kauṃñäkte] usw.” Orbis 18: 235–68.

Thomas and Krause 1964

Thomas, Werner, and Wolfgang Krause. 1964. Tocharisches Elementarbuch, Band II. Texte und Glossar. Heidelberg: Winter.


Gippert, Jost, Katharina Kupfer, Christiane Schaefer, and Tatsushi Tamai. n.d. “Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien (TITUS): Tocharian Manuscripts from the Berlin Turfan Collection.”