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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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The Dawn of History in the Deep South

The Dawn of History in the Deep South

(p.211) 22 The Dawn of History in the Deep South
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The area of cultivable land used by megalithic people was very limited, and they generally did not settle on the plains or lowlands. The southern end of the Indian peninsula situated south of the Krishna River was divided into Chola, Pandya, and Chera or Kerala kingdoms. These kingdoms greatly benefitted from their natural resources and foreign trade. The state and society that were formed in the Tamil state developed under the impact of Brahmanism. The kings performed Vedic sacrifices; the brahmanas conducted disputations. The Sangam literature is divided into narrative and didactic texts. The first texts are called Melkannakku or Eighteen Major Works, while the latter is called Kilkanakku or Eighteen Minor Works. These texts indicate several stages of social evolution. Many of the Sangam texts were written by the brahmana scholars of Prakrit or Sanskrit.

Keywords:   Chola, Pandya, Chera, Krishna River, Sangam literature, Brahmanism, Eighteen Major Works, Eighteen Minor Works, Tamil

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