Paul Thieme (German: [paʊl ˈtiːmə]; 18 March 1905 – 24 April 2001) was a German Ιndologist and scholar of Vedic Sanskrit. In 1988 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for "he added immensely to our knowledge of Vedic and other classical Indian literature and provided a solid foundation to the study of the history of Indian thought".
- “All the Dravidian languages known to us fairly bristle with loans from Sanskrit and the Aryan vernaculars. Dravidian literature in South India came into existence under the impulse and influence of Sanskrit literature and speech. Wherever there is a correspondence in the vocabularies of Sanskrit and Dravidian, there is a presumption, to be removed only by specific argument, that Sanskrit has been the lender, Dravidian the borrower.” ....“If a word can be explained easily from material extant in Sanskrit itself, there is little chance for such a hypothesis”.
- Paul Thieme commenting about the “zeal for hunting up Dravidian loans in Sanskrit” and rejecting the tendency to force Dravidian or Austric etymologies onto Indoaryan words. Quoted from Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
Quotes about Paul Thieme
- In the 1930s, numerous Indologists sought to anchor Nazi racial theory in ancient "Aryan" history and literature, including Erich Frauwallner, Hermann Güntert, Hermann Lommel, Paul Thieme, and Ludwig Alsdorf.
- Suzanne L. Marchand - German Orientalism in the Age of Empire_ Religion, Race, and Scholarship (Publications of the German Historical Institute)-Cambridge University Press (2010), page 489.
- “An example of this more sophisticated orientalism is the work of Paul Thieme”... esp. his “analysis of the Sanskrit word ārya, where at the end he adverts to the main point of his research: to go beyond India in order to catch the ‘distant echo of Indo-germanic customs’.”
- S. Pollock 1993:91 , quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.