Examine if the Sangam Literature can also be regarded as a source of history of kings and culture of the period during which it was created. (200 Words).
The Sangam Literature is a collection of poems, composed by Tamils poets ,both men and women developed in the ancient Southern state of India between 300 BC to 300 AD ,dealing with emotional and material topics such as love, war, governance, trade and bereavement. In many ways, the Sangam Literature serves as source of history of kings and culture of the period during which it was created:
- Each individual poem belonging to the Sangam Literature contains the information about its authorship and subject matter of the poem, the name of the king or chieftain to whom the poem relates and the poets and poetesses patronized by them.
- The Sangam literature tells about three Kingdoms that existed during that period-the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras. It mentions about the love, military and war, system of administration, governance and economic and trade relations that were prevalent during that time.
- According to the Sangam literature ,the administrative system during those time consisted of the King as the centre of administration with hereditary monarch as the prevailing form of government. The courtof the crowned monarch was called avai. The sabha or manram of the king in the capital was the highest court of justice.
- The king was assisted by a large body of officials, who were divided into five assemblies: Amaichchar or ministers, Purohitas or priests, Senapati or military commanders, Dutar or envoys and Arrar or spies.
- The entire kingdom was called Mandalam like the Chola Mandalam, Pandya mandalam etc. Below the mandalam was a major division, nadu (province). The ur was a town which was variously described as a big village (perar), a small village (sirur) or an old village (mudur).
- The society chiefly consisted of agriculturists. There were chiefly two classes of people in the early Tamil society. As a part of revenue administration, the largest source of revenue was land-tax called Karai.
Thus, the Sangam Literature can also be regarded as a source of history of kings and culture of the period during which it was created. [The claims mentioned in Sangam literature are highly exaggerated specially about the kings and should be used as a source of information with caution.However the sangam literature is very valuable with respect to the social and cultural life of the people at that time