Tamil dating stories
She composed 59 of the 2200 odd poems, so something like 2 or 3% of the total corpus. She belonged to the Viṟaliyar caste of dancers and singers who at the time were very highly respected.
And there were other female poetesses as well, at least 20 female poets that we know for certain by name and possibly up to 40, with names which might be female or not, since many are pen names. Her dating is quite certain because she wrote to entertain a minor king, under whose patronage she was, and she seems to have been quite good friends with him, she would eat and drink with him and so on.
Interestingly, Tamil language is the only language of South Asia which is recognizable in the ancient literature as something that is still spoken more or less similarly today.
In ancient times, this area of South India, while it had seen rule in parts of it by Aśoka during the Mauryan empire, largely had regional rulers and kingdoms, which were often very powerful empires themselves like the Satavahanas, an Andhra/Deccan kingdom, or the Tamil region’s own rulers, as in the Pandyan kingdoms, the Cōḻa empires, the Cēra in the far south, and so on, as well as minor kings who ruled in times of power vacuums. Sangam is the ancient period of poetic composition, probably dating to the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, mostly the 2nd c.
So, this test is in widespread use today for film critique, especially popular in European cinema boards, but also commonly used in the US, even by .
It’s shocking that even today, with movies released in recent years, say, almost half of film releases fail this simple test!
Plus many poems are anonymous, so in reality many more might have been written by women. He was Atikamāṉ Neṭumāṉ Añci of Takaṭūr, an opponent of the Cēra monarch at the time.
Anyway, we often get little snippets of information about the historical lives of poets or of regional kings or of historical events from the poems themselves. CE, the great Mauryan empire in India made so powerful by Aśoka had all but ended, the Ramayana was in the form that we know it today, the Laws of Manu, a famous Indian text of religious law was complete in the form in which we know it today. CE, during Auviyār’s lifetime, the Cēra dynasty, as mentioned in the Ramayana, ruled in far southern India, the Pandyas ruled in the middle of what is Tamil Nadu today, even the earliest Cōḻas, who became very powerful much later, were certainly ruling a little farther north by the beginning of the 2nd c. We find snippets about these dynasties and about people’s daily lives in the sangam poems.
But under the surface, the woman’s state is a result of a man’s behavior. One of the most prolific sangam poets of ancient times, the 9th most prolific, was a woman, Auviyār.
Male-dominated narratives, male authors, and male-centered agency and priorities have been the norm throughout history, until the latter half of the 20th-century.
Curiously, we see something slightly different in early Tamil literature.
Guest: Andrea Gutierrez, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Asian Studies Host: Christopher Rose, Department of History Male-dominated narratives, male authors, and male-centered agency and priorities have been the norm throughout history, until the latter half of the 20th-century.
So it’s no surprise that in ancient literature and epics, if you consider something like Homer’s , the story of King Rama in early India, you see male authors telling the stories, adventures, and histories of men.