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Sangam Age History | Indian History

Filed under: History Medieval History on 2022-12-18 12:11:51

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

Sangam poem's mention

Sangam poems mention muvendar, i.e., the three chiefs of the three ruling families that of the Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyas the there had their strongholds both in the interior as well as on the sea-coast.
The Cheras had Karur in the interior and Musiris, the well known ancient port on the west coast.
The Cholas had Uraijur in the interior and Puhar on the Coromandel coast as their stronghold.
Similarly, the Pandyas had Madurai and Korkar as their interior headquarters and port respectively.


Sangam literature

The Sangam literature was collected and classified at the three sucessive assemblies, the Sangams which were held in the town of Madurai during AD 100-250.


Art and Architecture in Early South India

Very curiously, few or no artifacts can be linked with the sophisticated and evidently Hinduized society of the Sangam literature, in rather the same way as, two millennia earlier in the north, identity-ably 'Vedic' artifacts are lacking. 
It is probably the most puzzling fact in the art history of the entire subcontinent-that the earliest known monuments and sculpture in South India, belong to the seventh century. 
The lone exception of the early period is the famous and mysterious sculpture, known as Gudimallam Iinga. faced with a standing figure of Siva, still in worship in a temple of little to the northwest of Chennai. It is in 3 Satavahana-related style: its mysteriousness lies in the total absence so far of any object in an even remotely similar manner within many hundreds of miles, and indeed anywhere in south India.


Poem Collection

At the Sangams, eminent scholars in literature assembled and functioned as a board of censors, and the choicest literature was rendered in the nature of anthologies.
Ettuttogai or the eight collections of poems and Pattupattu or the ten idylls are the two categories of anthologies that comprise heroic poems.


Composition of poems

The poems were orally composed and transmitted across a fairly 10mg span of time, i.e. from about 2nd century BC to AD 3rd century before they were classified and compiled, The poems are the earliest specimens of Dravidian language (barring aside a few short inscriptions).
By and large, the Tamil heroic poems signify the tradition of bards referred to as the panar who roamed about singing the praise of their patron chiefs.


System of Composted of Poems

By and large, the Tamil heroic poems signify the tradition of bards referred to as the panar who roamed about singing the praise of their patron chiefs.
However, all the poetic compositions were not by wandering bards.


Composer Poets Example

Some of them were composed by scholarly poets (referred to as pulavar) who followed the bardic tradition Kapilar Pananar, Avvayar and Gautamanar were some of the well known poets of the period.

Dividation of Anthologies

The anthologies are divided into akam, dealing with themes of subjective experience like love or affection, and puram, dealing with themes of objective interest like raid or plunder Akananuru, a collection of four hundred poems based on akam themes.
Purananuru, a similar collection based on puram themes are two examples of the Ettuttogai category. Similarly there are examples of both akam and puram anthologies in the Pattupattu category.


Sangam literature includes

A part from the heroic anthologies, the classified corpus of Tolkappi-yam, the earliest treatise on Tamil grammar and Patinenkizkanakku, the eighteen didactic texts .
Tolka-ppiyam in its present form was written not earlier than the AD 3rd century, though the basic parts of the text could have been done slightly earlier. All the Kizkanakku texts belong to a period later than AD 3rd Century.

Silappadikaram and Manime-kalai

The two epics, Silappadikaram and Manime-kalai, written by Illaugo, Adigal and Sattanar respectively, were regarded by some scholars as contemporaneous with the heroic poems but now they are identified as works of a much later period.

The Silappadikaram

The Silappadikaram is the story of a merchant named Kovalan, who lived in Puhar and fell in love with a courtesan named Madhavi, neglecting his wife Kannagi. Later he and Kannagi left Puhar and went to Madurai, where he was wrongly accused of theft by the court jeweller of the Pandya King. The king sentenced Kovalan to death. Kannagi, who still loved him, was full of grief and anger at this injustice and destroyed the entire city of Madurai.

The Manimekalai

The Manimekalai describes the story of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi. Incidentally, Manimekalai also gives glimpses of the development of fine arts in the Sangam age.

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