Work in progress

THT 589

Known as:THT 589; B 589
Cite this page as:Melanie Malzahn. "THT 589". In A Comprehensive Edition of Tocharian Manuscripts (CEToM). Created and maintained by Melanie Malzahn, Martin Braun, Hannes A. Fellner, and Bernhard Koller. (accessed 23 Apr. 2024).


Editor:Melanie Malzahn


Main find spot:Shorchuk
Expedition code:T III Š 29.4
Collection:Berlin Turfan Collection

Language and Script

Linguistic stage:classical

Text contents

Title of the work:Ikṣvāku-Jātaka
Text genre:Literary
Text subgenre:Jātaka/Avadāna
Verse/Prose:prose; verse
Meter:M12; M14


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/// [lo] w(·) s̝s̝a[ṃ] mā y[ā] ta ll(·) kl(·) tka ss[i] (– –) [p]r(·) kr[e] [p]ra [t](·) (–) (·)m(·) (– –) – – –
a2/// wi nā s̝s̝a lñe ṣṣe ya rke¯ ¯ś vi ci tr(·) [p]u s̝pa we rpi śke n(·) pya pyaiṃ pa ssa [ka] nta sa y·
a3/// [k](·) mtra ce yä ṅke lai tkeṃ kau taṃ pya pyaiṃ taṃ tsa skeṃ sū ka s̝pa tra ṅko tā ka nme ypo ymeṃ
a4/// (·)w(·) la teṃ po ñcä || tu meṃ ṣu kko naṃ¯ ¯ts ka tko rne yai to¯ ¯s̝ vi ci tra pu s̝pa we rpi śka ṣṣe ya
a5/// ma ne śtwe ru we¯ ¯ñä mcu ṣka nta u lkā mu khe • ka [ta] ka rṇi • ha sti [ny]· se • nu pū ra
a6/// [u] lkā mu khe we s̝s̝aṃ || mai ttä rne || ka lneṃ plo ryaṃ tne pī yaṃ lwā sa ka – (–) [:] ka
a7/// – (– –) – – kuse no wā ki cwī śce ma ṣṣa ///
b2/// [s](·) (·)·(·)u ppā lnta ra ssā re || tu ///
b3/// [ñ]c· we skeṃ [a] ṣkā rrai : pyā mtso sa swe ntse yai tko¯ ¯r mcu ṣk(·) nta a k(·) (–) – ka
b4/// (·)ma ssi yā tka me • u lkā mu khe we s̝s̝aṃ ri lyi we¯ ¯s ṣa¯ ¯ñä śau lmā ā ppa ntse
b5/// ne ca ṇḍā li wai ki ññeṃ pe ṅkeṃ pa ta se ma n[e] mcu ṣka ntaṃ¯ ¯ts ckā ck[a] [n]e e r[s]a¯ ¯ṅk śa
b6/// [lyu] tsa nte me || tu lye lya ko rmeṃ o ro tsa kwa sa lñe ṣṣa we śe ñña klyau ṣā te
b7/// [v]aṃ e rke nma sa || mcu ṣka nta we skeṃ || [h]a ri dā sñe ne || e pya cpo we¯ ¯s kl[ā] s[k]e
b8/// m[t]e wai ke sa : pā t[r]i lā [nt]e ce k(·)a (– –) – [nr]ai ka (–) l[y]ai – (·)e ·e – – –


a1 n1 /// (wa)lo w(e)ṣṣäṃ yātall(e) kl(au)tkässi – – pr(ā)kre prat(iṃ) – ·m· – – – – –
a2 n2n3 /// wināṣṣälñeṣṣe yarkeś vicitr(a)puṣpä werpiśken(e) pyapyaiṃ pässakäntasa y(ai)-
a3 -(toṣ)n3n4 /// …k·mträ cey«†ä» ṅke laitkeṃ kautaṃ pyapyaiṃ taṃtsäskeṃ ka ṣpä traṅko tākan-me ypoymeṃ
a4 n4n5 /// ·w· lateṃ poñcätumeṃ ṣuk konaṃts kätkorne yaitoṣ vicitrapuṣpä werpiśkaṣṣe ya…
a5 n6n7 /// …mane śtwer uweñ mcuṣkanta ulkāmukhekatakarṇihastiny(ā)senupūra
a6 n7 /// ulkāmukhe weṣṣäṃmaittärne
1a kalneṃ ploryaṃ tne ; pīyaṃ lwāsa ; ka… – – :
1b kä… a711σ
1c 12σ /// – – – – –
1d kuse no wāki cwī ; =ścemaṣṣa ///
a8 ///
b1 ///
b2 /// ·s··· uppālnta rässāretu ///
b3 n8 /// …ñc() weskeṃ aṣkār rai : pyāmtso säswentse yaitkor mcuṣk(a)nta ak· – – ka…
b4 /// (śan)mässi yātka-meulkāmukhe weṣṣäṃ rilyi wes ṣañ śaul āppantse
b5 /// …ne caṇḍāli waikiññeṃ peṅkeṃpa tasemane mcuṣkantaṃts ckāckane ersaṅk ś(ā)-
b6 -(nmyare) /// lyutsante-metu lyelyakormeṃ orotsa kwasalñeṣṣa weśeñña klyauṣāte
b7 n9n10n11 /// …vaṃ erkenmasamcuṣkanta weskeṃharidāsñene
1a epyac po wes ; klāskeb8(mträ)n11n12 ;
1b 10σ /// – – – mte ; waikesa :
1c pātri lānte ; ce k·a – ; – – nrai ka ; – lyai –
1d ·e ·e – – – 12σ


a1 ... The king says: "(I am) not capable to make turn the firm resolution ...
a2+ ... in order to (pay) honorable homage in the Vicitrapuṣpa [= having many-colored flowers] garden, be(decked) with flowers [and] garlands ...
a3 ... we ... If they will cut down lianas [and] tear off flowers, this will be an offence by them. From the country (they will be banned) ...
a4 ... All went out. After the passing of seven days the bedecked Vicitrapuṣpa garden ...
a5 ... the four learnèd princes Ulkāmukha, Katakarṇi, Hastinyāsa, [and] Nupūra ...
a6 ... Ulkāmukha says: || In [the tune] maittär || "Flutes resound, and the ... animals trumpet ...
a7 ... But which [is] this difference ... the clay ...
a8 ...
b1 ...
b2 ... they [= the four princes] tore off blue lotus [flowers]. Th(en) or: (After having heard/seen) that ...
b3 the ... say: Stop there! Keep to the lord's order! ...
b4 ... [the king] ordered them [= the princes] to be bound. Ulkāmukha says: "Now our own life is at risk. Not (can we expect mercy?) from [our] dear father ...
b5+ ... The executioners bo(und) the legs of the princes tightly resembling bits of waiki ...
b6 ... [the princes] were banned (from the country). Having seen that, a great lamenting voice was heard ...
b7 ... (they came) to the cementery of The princes say. || In [the tune] haridāsñe ||
b7+ We remember all ...
b8 ... we were (driven out?) by a lie. This ... of [our] father's, the king's ...


a3 «we …» If they, however, chop lianas and scatter flowers, this will be an offence of theirs, and (they will be driven) off the land (?). (Peyrot 2013b: 673)
b3 … say: «[Go] back!, act according to the command of the lord.» The princes … (Peyrot 2013b: 370)
b4 We, his own life, cannot be abandoned by [our] dear father! (Peyrot 2013b: 343)
b6 Dies gesehen habend, wurde eine große Klagestimme gehört. (Schmidt 1974: 217)


Philological commentary

For the Tibetan parallel, see Roerich 1988: 9-10.
In the Tibetan parallel, the princes are at first condemned to death and then pardoned and banished on the words of the king's minsters; the same ministers who came up with the plan of getting rid of the princes in the first place.
n1 Thomas 1954: 742 proposes a passive reading and a predicate: "(You are) not capable of being made turn", in which case the following ought to be "by firm resolution". I think that the king rather speaks about the firm resolution of himself regarding the decision of being succeeded by his youngest son instead of the four elder brothers mentioned below. In order to bring about this incorrect succession, the four elder princes are in the following tricked into getting banned from the country.
n2 This is still part of the king's speech regarding the ban on plucking flowers in the garden.
n4 -k(·)mträ belongs to a middle Prs/Sub form.
n6 In the Tibetan version of the story the princes are named Ulkāmukha, Karakarṇa, Hastināyaka, and Nūpura, as per Sieg/Siegling, Sieg and Siegling 1953: 373, fn. 14 with ref. to Rockhill 1907: 11; the Sanskrit name of the third brother is transposed by Hasti-niyaṃsa by Roerich 1988: 8.
n7 According to Sieg/Siegling, the meter has 4x12 (5/7) syllables, but then we get a caesura inside the vowel sandhi in a6; this problem is not solved by assuming a 7/5 variation, because the passage has eight syllables if kuse indeed starts pāda d. Note that the same tune has 4x14 syllables in another text.
n8 ñc is no doubt part of a masc. form.
n9 -vaṃ is the end of a Sanskrit place name in -vana "grove".
n10 Because of the meter, restoration to a middle form klāske(mträ) (as per Sieg/Siegling) is likely.
n11 According to Sieg/Siegling, the meter has 4x14 (7/7) syllables.
n12 Sieg/Siegling proposed the restoration (śānmya)mte, followed, e.g., by Thomas 1957: 185: "we were (bound) by a lie"; but unless we have a word play between the unknown waiki (b5) and waike 'lie' (b8), a more likely restoration is (lyutstsa)mte "we were (driven out) by a lie". The rest of this fragmentary line is mostly unclear. nrai ‘hell' seems to be a separable form, to which -°lyai may be part of an attributive gerundive.

Linguistic commentary

n3 The name of the garden is both times spelled without virāma; since in terms borrowed from Sanskrit a word-final vowel is quite often respresented by -ä even in prose texts (cf. Malzahn 2012a), it is unnecessary to restore a virāma.
n5 Note the colloquial spellings ṣuk for ṣutk and konaṃts for kaunaṃts.

Alternative linguistic/paleographic classifications

Tamai 2011 C1
Tamai 2011 C14


Online access

IDP: THT 589; TITUS: THT 589


Sieg and Siegling 1953: 337


Carling 2000: a2 (120), b7 (402); Krause 1952: a3 (143); Peyrot 2013b: a3 (673), b3 (370), b4 (343); Schmidt 1974: b6 (217); Thomas 1952: a1 (37), b4 (40); Thomas 1954: a1 (742); Thomas 1957: a4 (214), b2 (133), b3 (133), b6 (133), b8 (185); Thomas 1979b: a6 (36); Thomas 1981: b3 (487)


Carling 2000

Carling, Gerd. 2000. Die Funktion der lokalen Kasus im Tocharischen. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter.


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

Krause 1952

Krause, Wolfgang. 1952. Westtocharische Grammatik, Band I. Das Verbum. Heidelberg: Winter.

Malzahn 2012a

Malzahn, Melanie. 2012a. “Now you see it, now you don’t — Bewegliches –o in Tocharisch B.” In Linguistic developments along the Silk Road: Archaism and Innovation in Tocharian, edited by Olav Hackstein and Ronald I. Kim, 834:33–82. Sitzungsberichte der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse. Wien: Verlag der ÖAW.

Peyrot 2013b

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

Rockhill 1907

Rockhill, William Woodville, trans. 1907. The life of the Buddha and the early history of his order. Derived from Tibetan works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur, followed by notices on the early history of Tibet and Khoten. Trübner’s oriental series 30, Buddhism 15. London: Trübner.

Roerich 1988

Roerich, George N. 1988. The Blue Annals, Parts I and II. Reprint Delhi et al.: Motilal Banarsidass.

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 2011

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

Thomas 1952

Thomas, Werner. 1952. Die tocharischen Verbaladjektive auf -l. Deutsche Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Institut für Orientforschung 9. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.

Thomas 1954

Thomas, Werner. 1954. “Die Infinitive im Tocharischen.” In Asiatica. Festschrift Friedrich Weller. Zum 65. Geburtstag, gewidmet von seinen Freunden, Kollegen und Schülern, edited by Johannes Schubert and Ulrich Schneider, 701–64. Leipzig: Harrassowitz.

Thomas 1957

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

Thomas 1979b

Thomas, Werner. 1979b. Formale Besonderheiten in metrischen Texten des Tocharischen: Zur Verteilung von B tane/tne “hier” und B ñake/ñke “jetzt”. Abhandlungen d. Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 15. Mainz: Verlag d. Akad. d. Wissenschaften und d. Literatur.

Thomas 1981

Thomas, Werner. 1981. “Indogermanisches in der Syntax des Tocharischen: Zum Ausdruck eines Gebotes und Verbotes.” In Festschrift der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft an der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, 481–97.


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