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IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Sangam Age Tamilham: South of Deccan plateau, the

Sangam Age

Tamilham:South of Deccan plateau, the land between the hills of Venkatam and Kanyakumari is called Tamizhakam or Tamilaham.

Route to the South: Dakshinapatha (Imp: Gold + Pearls + Precious stones)

Sangam Literature: Enveloped in Legend

It refers to three Sangam’s which lasted, at long intervals, for 9,990 years altogether and included 8,598 poets as members and 197 Pandyan kings as patrons. Some of the names of the kings are found in inscriptions and other authentic records, showing thatfacts were mixed with fiction.

1st: Madurai

Legend: Attended by Gods & legendary sages ; Work perished

Sangam

(Literary

Gatherings)

2nd: Kapadapuram

Legend: Large mass of literature but only Tolkappiyam (the early Tamil grammar) has survived

3rd: Madurai; founded by Mudathirumaran

Legend: Fraction of it survived -- Constitutes the extant body of Sangam literature

Some contents of the Sangam literature are corroborated by the writings of some Greek and Roman classical writers of the first and second centuries AD (Ptolemy, Pliny the Elder, Strabo and the anonymous author of Periplus), leading us to fix the period of Sangam age roughly between 3 rd century BC to 3 rd century AD

us to fix the period of Sangam age roughly between 3 r d century BC to
us to fix the period of Sangam age roughly between 3 r d century BC to

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Script The earliest script that the Tamils used

Script

The earliest script that the Tamils used was the Bramhi script. It was only later, that is, from the late ancient and early medieval period, that they started evolving a new angular script, called the Grantha script. The modern Tamil alphabet is derived from this angular script.

script, called the Grantha script. The modern Tamil alphabet is derived from this angular script. Iasbaba.com
script, called the Grantha script. The modern Tamil alphabet is derived from this angular script. Iasbaba.com
script, called the Grantha script. The modern Tamil alphabet is derived from this angular script. Iasbaba.com

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Both Ettutogai and Pattuppattu were dividedinto two main

Both Ettutogai and Pattuppattu were dividedinto two main groups

Aham (love)

Puram (valour)

Asokan inscriptions: Mentioned the Chera, Chola and Pandya rulers on the south of the Mauryan Empire

Hathikumbha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also mentions about Tamil Kingdoms

Mauryan Empire Hathikumbha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also mentions about Tamil Kingdoms Iasbaba.com Page 3
Mauryan Empire Hathikumbha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also mentions about Tamil Kingdoms Iasbaba.com Page 3
Mauryan Empire Hathikumbha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also mentions about Tamil Kingdoms Iasbaba.com Page 3

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Muvendar: 3 ruling Chief  Chera, Chola, Pandya

Muvendar:

3 ruling ChiefChera, Chola, Pandya Had their stronghold in interior as well as sea coast

3 ruling Chief  Chera, Chola, Pandya Had their stronghold in interior as well as sea
3 ruling Chief  Chera, Chola, Pandya Had their stronghold in interior as well as sea
3 ruling Chief  Chera, Chola, Pandya Had their stronghold in interior as well as sea

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Iasbaba.com Page 5

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Political Reflections 1 . Mix of fiction and
IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Political Reflections 1 . Mix of fiction and

Political Reflections

1. Mix of fiction and reality as discussed above- but many of the names of the kings and events described in the literature can be reconciled against the inscriptions and other archaeological evidence.

2. Development of Kingdoms: Spread of Iron Technology (Forest Clearing + Plough cultivation)

3. Head of households were important, but a higher status was given to the velir or the clan chief and a still higher status was accorded to the bigger chiefs (Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas)

4. The poets have tried to derive the ancestry from Mahabharata exaggerating glory and legitimacy of their ruling masters. It also tells us about some true

exaggerating glory and legitimacy of their ruling masters. It also tells us about some true Iasbaba.com
exaggerating glory and legitimacy of their ruling masters. It also tells us about some true Iasbaba.com

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age historical events like how after losing his kingdom

historical events like how after losing his kingdom the first Chola ruler Karikala won a battle at Venni against an alliance of 11 rulers and staged a comeback. Apart from the major states, the poets tell us about the various minor principalities who used to side with one major state or the other in times of war.

5. Tells us of the attempt of the kings to increase their legitimacy via divine association, Vedic rituals and of the values associated with a great king. Theking was also supposed to beupholder of the social order, literature, art etc. and be impartial while imparting justice because he was the highest court.

6. Reflectsstrong economic and administrative power of the state (such a large scale patronage to the poets wouldn't have been possible otherwise). The literature also tells us that the state used to actively promote agriculture, industry and commerce. However, it also tells us that by the time of a ruler Nalliyakodan (275 AD) the era of kind, liberal donor kings was over which indicates that the power of state had declined by this time.

7. King used to rule mainly with the assistance of his kin (family members) who were also very powerful. The practice of conjoint rule was also present. This is natural given the kin basednature of the Sangam society. It tells us about the various feuds for grabbing power. The poets used to put the names of not just the king but multiple members of the royal family in their works which indicates the kin based nature of polity.

8. Large body of officials- Divided into five councils:

Ministers (amaichar),

Priests (anthanar),

Military commanders (senapathi),

Envoys (thuthar)

Spies (orrar)

9. Victory in battles, cattle raids and territorial expansion was another important source of royal legitimacy and a great king was supposed to continuously try to expand his kingdom.

source of royal legitimacy and a great king was supposed to continuously try to expand his
source of royal legitimacy and a great king was supposed to continuously try to expand his

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age  Captains of Army: Enadi  Consisted of

Captains of Army: Enadi

Consisted of chariots drawn by oxen of elephants, cavalry and infantry

Horses: Imported by sea into the Pandyan Kingdoms

The literature speaks both in ill (low) terms and in high terms (depending upon which side the poet was on) of cattle raids.

Cultural Reflections

Tamil language had fully developed

Usage of Sanskrit words

Process of Brahmanisation of the Sangam society was well underway

Fusion process between the Brahman and the Dravidian societies

Burial:

Early sangam texts like Purnanuru and Narninai, tell us about the life in megalithic societies about various types of Burials:

Urn burial,

Cist burials,

Cremation etc.

Earlier Sangam textsUrn burial was prevalent among the Chera kings as well as the Vellalas

Religion:

Tamil God: Seyon or Murugan

Honoured with six abodes known as ArupadaiVeedu

Other Gods: Mayon (Vishnu), Vendan (Indiran), Varunan and Korravai

Hero Stone or Nadu Kal worship

Gods: Mayon (Vishnu), Vendan (Indiran), Varunan and Korravai  Hero Stone or Nadu Kal worship Iasbaba.com
Gods: Mayon (Vishnu), Vendan (Indiran), Varunan and Korravai  Hero Stone or Nadu Kal worship Iasbaba.com

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age Kurinji • Chief deity: Murugan • Occupation: Hunting+Honey

Kurinji

Chief deity: Murugan Occupation: Hunting+Honey collection

Mullai

Chief deity: Mayon (Vishnu) Occupation: Cattle rearing + dairy product

Marudam

Chief deity: Indira Occupation: Agriculture

Neydal

Chief deity: Varunan Occupation: Fishing + salt manufacturing

Palai

Chief deity: Korravai

Occupation: Robbery

Fine Art:

Singing bards in Royal Courts: Panar and Viraliyar (experts in folk songs and folk dances)

Variety of Yazhs and drums

Dancing was performed by Kanigaiyar

Koothu- Most popular entertainment of the people

Economy

Tremendous growth of external trade with Rome

Romans exported spices from fort city Muzris

Black pepper =>Yavanapriya; Black gold

Handicrafts: weaving, metal works and carpentry, ship building andmaking of ornaments using beads, stones and ivory

metal works and carpentry, ship building andmaking of ornaments using beads, stones and ivory Iasbaba.com Page
metal works and carpentry, ship building andmaking of ornaments using beads, stones and ivory Iasbaba.com Page

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age  Elephants: Ivory; highly valued in the West

Elephants: Ivory; highly valued in the West

Bootycaptured in wars

Regular income from agriculture: Tip of the peninsula (Paddy + Ragi + Sugarcane)

Chief Imports: Gold,horses and sweet wine

Pattinappalai- Custom officials employed in the seaport of Puhar

Social Reflections

1. Celebration of love and war:

The goal of a hero should be to attain gloryHeroic death was greatly valued; memorial stones were raised for the dead heroes as their spirits were believed to inhabit the stones- Virarkal

2. Social classification

Based on: Kutis (clan based descent from early ages)

Brahmanical tradition had not yet established firmly.

There were

Arasars (Kings),

Vanigars (Traders),

Vellalas (Farmers): The rich farmers and influential in military and administration as well

Anthanars: played significant role in Sangam polity and religion

Enadi: The high military commanders

Reference made to many occupations but not directly to any Varna based ordering.

commanders Reference made to many occupations but not directly to any Varna based ordering . Iasbaba.com
commanders Reference made to many occupations but not directly to any Varna based ordering . Iasbaba.com

IASbabas ILP Value Add- Sangam Age

IASbaba ’ s ILP Value Add- Sangam Age 3. Sangam ‘Women’:  Wide range of economic

3.

Sangam ‘Women’:

Wide range of economic activities practiced by women: Agriculture, Cloth making, Fisheries etc.

Life of Widows: Miserable Thus, rather commit sati than lead a miserable life. (But sati was not enforced by society like later times. But it was glorified)

Allowed to choose life partners

Karpu or Chaste life- Highest virtue of women

Kannagi Worship: Worshipping a chaste wife Tells us how the society thought of a woman’s role in her life (be completely subservient to her husband)

Literature:

Poetesses:Avvaiyar + Nachchellaiyar + Kakkaipadiniyar

Courage of women appreciated in poems

4.

Rural society: Institution ofManram Taking care of the socio-cultural and religious activities (festivals, entertainment venues etc.) These, later, developed into the institution of’ Sabha’

Think:

Q- How do Sangam literary texts enlighten us about the early state and society in South

India? -UPSC 2013

Q-In reconstructing the history of past, it is necessary for historians to differentiate between fact and fiction. How true is it in the light of Sangam texts?

historians to differentiate between fact and fiction. How true is it in the light of Sangam
historians to differentiate between fact and fiction. How true is it in the light of Sangam