13 Facts About Sangam literature


Sangam literature historically known as 'the poetry of the noble ones' (Tamil: ?????? ??????, Canror ceyyul) connotes the ancient Tamil literature and is the earliest known literature of South India.

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Sangam literature had fallen into oblivion for much of the second millennium of the common era, but were preserved by and rediscovered in the monasteries of Hinduism, particularly those related to Shaivism near Kumbakonam, by colonial-era scholars in the late nineteenth century.

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The bardic poetry of the Sangam literature era is largely about love and war (puram), with the exception of the shorter poems such as in paripaatal which is more religious and praise Vishnu, Shiva, Durga and Murugan.

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The homogeneity of the prosody, language and themes in these poems confirms that the Sangam literature was a community effort, a "group poetry".

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The Sangam literature is referred sometimes with terms such as canka ilakkiyam or "Sangam age poetry".

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Approximately three-fourths of the Sangam literature poetry is akam themed, and about one fourth is puram.

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Early Sangam literature poetry diligently follows two meters, while the later Sangam literature poetry is a bit more diverse.

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The acai in the Sangam literature poems are combined to form a cir, while the cir are connected to form a talai, while the line is referred to as the ati.

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Works of Sangam literature were lost and forgotten for most of the 2nd millennium.

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Sangam literature is the historic evidence of indigenous literary developments in South India in parallel to Sanskrit, and the classical status of the Tamil language.

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Sangam literature offers a window into some aspects of the ancient Tamil culture, secular and religious beliefs, and the people.

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One of the early loan words, for example, is acarya– from Sanskrit for a "spiritual guide or teacher", which in Sangam literature appears as aciriyan, aciriyam or akavar or akaval or akavu (a poetic meter).

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Sangam literature poems are often quoted and paraphrased in modern Tamil cinema.

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