# Tamil language is the oldest one among the south Indian languages. The earliest phase of Tamil literature is associated with the three Sangams. # Sangams were the societies of learned men established by the Pandya kingdom. Each Sangam comprises of a number of distinguished poets and learned scholars. # All literary works were submitted to these Sangams where learned scholars selected the best ones from different works and set their seal of approval. #'The Sangam literature was compiled between A.D. 300 and 600. # Ettuttogai collection (the eight anthologies) is considered to be the earliest one belonging to 3rd century B.C. to 3rd century A.D. # Tirukkural written by Thiruvalluvar is the best of the minor didactic poems. Its teachings are considered as an everlasting inspiration and guide to the Tamilians. # Silappadikaram and Manimekhalali are the two Tamil epics. These are important sources for the construction of the early history of south India.