"Sumatra, Java, Bali and the islands farther east had close cultural contact with South India during the first two centuries A.D. The Dravidian tribal names among the Batak in Sumatra are indicative of early association. The so called East Indian islands of Indonesia were called Savagam or Savaganadu. Among the discoveries at Arikamedu are celladon-ware sherds which are stated to have been common in China and South East Asia. Therefore, Roman ships proceeding to China and South East Asia touched ports in Tamilnadu."
Trade and Commerce During
the Sangam age
- N.K. MANGALA MURUGESAN
The prosperity and the well being of any nation depend on trade and agriculture. The Sangam rulers bestowed the most care on development of trade and agriculture. Maduraikkanchi bears testimony to the interest shown by the Sangam rulers.1
Naccinarkkiniar, in his commentory on the poem referred above emphasises the importance of trade and agriculture.2
There is a vast difference between the commercial activity of today and that of the ancient days. Trade and Commerce were pursued according to the availability of wealth and assistants. Trade and Commerce formed part of the history of the Sangam age. We get a picture of the trading or commercial activities of the Tamils not only from literary sources but also from contemporary foreign sources.
The primitive pattern of exchange of essentials on a barter basis was common in villages. It has been suggested that barter had its origin in the practice of offering gifts to visitors and bards.3 Dr.K.K.Pillay's view is that barter could have developed independent of gift barter.4 Side by side with barter, in the Sangam age there were bazaars and markets where the monetary sytem was prevalent. It was the general custom of the people to sell the commodities produced in their respective lands to the neighbours and occasionally to those at a distance.
P.T. Srinivasa Aiyangar suggests that trade in Tamilagam originated in the Neydal5 land because of the occurrence of several references to the fishermen of the Neydal taking salt in carts to be sold at other places. Though, salt was one of the necessities, paddy and other grains were even more basic requisites and hence it is not possible to agree with the above view.6
With the progress of settled life, paddy and salt become the principal commodities of trade Paddy and salt served a measure of value.7 From one of the Kurunthogai poems wee learn about a shepherd who gave milk and took instead some grains.8 Shepherdesses exchanged curd and butter milk for grains. It is said that the proceeds were invested by the shepherdesses on purchase of coins and not of gold.9 The above facts are revealed Perumpanarruppadai. There are also references in which a hunter took the meat of his hunt to a farmer and exchanged it for money, Like hunters, Panars used to fish in the ponds. The wives of such panars used to carry the fish to the villages and barter it for grains. This event is referred to by a poet Oram Pogiyar in Ainguru Nuru.10 Honey, ghee, and edible roots were exchanged for fish and toddy. Articles like venison and fish, fish oil; mutton and arrack were also sold in barter.
One poem in Narrinai quotes the carrying of paddy to the salt fields and their exchange made for salt. Kalladanar narrates an incident where an old woman of Neydal land instructed a girl to sell the salt produced in the salt field for paddy and that the girl did so.11 The salt venders transported such paddy exchanged for salt in boats.12 The Kurinji people exchanged the tusks for toddy. The people lived in Kolli hills went for hunting to retrieve the hunger of their family members. They hunted the elephants and brought the tusks. The tusks were exchanged for paddy and thus they relieved their hunger.
The housewife exchanged green grain for the thorny fish of the minstrel13 and poured the white paddy into the vessel if the wandering bard who brought the fish.14 A different type of barter which can be called 'deferred exchange' was known as kuri etirppu' which means taking a loan of fixed quantity of a commodity to be returned at a later date.15 Commodities which were complementary to each other in satisfying people's needs were often sold together. Thus sugarcane and rice flakes were together sold in exchange for venison and toddy.16 With the sale proceeds of ghee, buffaloes were purchased.17 Women sold flowers in exchange for other commodities.18
The commerce of the Sangam period was not confined only to barter trade. It has been suggested by N. Subramanian in his 'Sangam Polity' that the coins were used for purposes of exchange mostly in the case of foreign trade. It is not possible to agree fully with this view.19 Coins were also used for internal and external trade. Maduraikkanchi and Pattinappalai speak about the ships that brought gold from the west.
Madurai Vennaganar tells us that the coins were round like a berry but slightly flattened. He had expressed that the berries which were found stream on the pathways under the trees in Palai looked like the yellow gold coin. Kavan Mullai Buthanar also had expressed that the gold coins looked like the fruit of ooka tree. From Patirruppattu we learn that gold and kanam were coins in use. But we are yet to find the archaeological evidences of a mint from where coins were made. While we were able to get Greeco-Roman coins, the non-availability of the coins of Tamil nadu in any other parts of the world needs suitable explanation. There were Brahmi inscriptions on the coins made of lead found in a place called Sangam and it is believed that such coins were in the use towards the end of the Sangam age. The term palingu kasu occuring in the Akananuru indicates that some material other than gold was also used for making coins.20
It is however difficult to determine the material out of which it was made; perhaps it was shaped out of glass leads or kauri shells, as may be guessed from its name.
There existed highways connecting the villages and the towns known as Peruvali which must have been constructed roads. It is learnt that tolls were levied at the entrance to towns and at cross roads. It is believed that Panduraka blankets and excellent cotton cloth were exported from Madurai. These must have been carried in country carts over rough highways connecting north India with South India.
It is doubtful whether trade through inland waterways in the country developed in any considerable measure. The streams running through hill tracts were hardly fitted for the purpose. Even the rivers flowing through the plains were not suitable on account of frequent droughts, floods and whirlpools. But the coastal waterways and backwaters must have to some extent useful in the transportation of commodities. Tamils had a good knowledge about the trade winds.
When the Sangam poet Vennikkuyithiar praising karikalam praised him that he belonged to the traditional family which had a mastering of knowledge about the trade winds.21 The coastal waterways and backwater must have to some extent been useful in the transportation of commodities. The reference found in the classics to small vessels like the kalam, punai, patri, odam, ambi and toni indicate that traffic though streams and lakes must have taken place.22 Mention is made of the beaten paths in the hilly tracts and arid regions23. The tracts were arduous, moreover passing through them was often risky on account of the dacoits from wayside robbers,24 buffaloes, asses, and carts were utilised for trade.25 Though we hear about the import of the horses, we do not know whether they were used for the transport of commodities. The Mule was called Athiri. There is a reference in Paripadal that people rode on Athiri in Vaigai bed at Madurai. In Akam and Narrinai, also there are references to the use of Athiri for riding Sirupanarruppadai and some other literatures also mention about Hackney carts. Yet it may be said that carts drawn by horses were not used for transportation of materials of trade.
The traders used to proceed to various villages in small groups alled Vanigaccattukkal. They carried the commodities in carts or on donkeys. The carts were drawn by bullocks. Perumpanarruppadai informs that merchants travelled with papper wrapped in bundles to the size of jack fruits and leaded on the backs of asses. During the period following the Sangam those persons who did big business and earned huge amounts of wealth were awarded Atti Poo and 'Atti Pattam'.
The Foreign trade of the Tamils included trade with the other parts of India also. From the evidence found in the Arthasastra it is learnt that there existed trade relationship in the 4th century B.C. between Magadha and Dakshinapadha including the Tamil country. Among the articles which found their way to the royal treasury at Pataliputra, Kautilya mentions precious stones (ratna) from Tampraparni and Pandya kavata and Vaidurya or precious stones from Kerala.26 Tamilians had developed commerce to a very high degree in the Kalinga country and so the Kalinga ruler Karavela though it would be dangerous to his rule. His attempts to destroy the Tamil merchant communities are found in the Hathigumpa inscription of Karavela.
Tamil merchants at Amarawathi donated liberally to the construction of Buddhistic stupa at Amarawathi.27
From very early times, Tamilnadu carried on an extensive trade with foreign lands. In the foreign markets the commercial products, pepper, ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, sandal wood, turmeric and saffron were in great demand. Rice, cotton, pearls and certain animals and birds from the rest of Tamilnadu were also in demand.
Early relationship :
On the question of Tamilakam's earliest trade relationship with foreign nations conflicting views have been held. Sayce in his Hibbert lectures on the basis of the following assumption points out the commercial intercourse between Sumeria and South India. The first fact mentioned by him is that Indian teak, presumably belonging to Malabar in South India, was found in the ruins of Ur, the capital of the Sumerian Kings. The second fact is that the word 'Sindhu' or muslin is mentioned in an ancient Babylonjian list of clothing.28 In respect of the teak wood found in the ruins of the temples of Moon-God at Ur, it is possible that it was imported from Kerala, but this fact is not indisputably established. It is not certain that at that early period of time no nearer region had teak wood which could have been utilised at Ur. "As regards Sindhu the occurrence of 'S' in the word has been indicated that muslin did not reach.
P.T. Srinivasa Aiyangar attempted to trace the existence of commercial relationship between South India and West Asia from so early a period as the 4th millennium B.C. on the basis of similarity of words found inTulu and Kannada, neither of which had such an early origin.29 Dr. K.K. Pillay pointed out that imagination was stretched too far and the piece of reasoning was at best conjectural.
The view advanced that the 3rd Millennium B.C. is also based on doubtful basis. Muslin and spices were conveyed from South India to Egypt.30 But it cannot be asserted as has done that they went from Kerala. The principal articles imported into Egypt were gold and silver ivory, ebony, rare animals and plants which were mostly products from North Eastern and Equatorial Africa.31
The view, that in the 15th century B.C. only trade developed is also not definite. In the Bible, there is a reference to cinnamon as an ingredient in the perfume used in the ritual at the Tabernacle erected by Moses. It is argued that the maritime trade of Kerala was in vogue in 1490 because it is believed that the Tabernacle was built in 1490. There is no direct reference to the import from Kerala.
In the old Testament there are references to certain spices and other articles in connection with the visit of queen sheba to king solomon of Issad sometimes about 990 B.C. Among the commodities peacocks and sandalwood are also mentioned. It is definitely certain that 'Tuki' the Hebrew for peacock is derived from the Tamil word Tokai. In Malaipadukadam and Kurinjippattu the word Tokai denotes peacock only.32 The fact that peacocks went from Tamilakam in the 10th Century B.C. shows that there existed some trade relationships.
An active sea-borne commerce was carried on from about 700 B.C. between Babylon and the East. This is proved by the history of the Chinese. An early colony of South Indian merchants is believed to have been established in Babyloon where it continued to flourish till the 7th Century A.D. Under the persian Emperor Darices in the 5th Century B.C., the Indian commerce was further extended and the merchants continued the trade. Loan words from the Tamil language in Hebrew and Aramaic confirm the existence of trade relations in the past.33
Trade with Greeks and Romans
The Greeks entered the field of maritime commerce from about the 3rd Century B.C. They too adopted some of the Tamil names of commodities in which they traded. The Greeks have oriza for rice from the Tamil arici, ginger is derived from Latin zingiber which was derived frrom ziggiberies which ultimately is traced to Tamil injiver. After the age of Darius, the foundation of the city of Alexandria after the expedition of Alexander provided an impetus to this commercial expansion. The Greeks became the carrier of the South Indian Trade with the west. Thus certain Tamil words found their way into the Greek vocabulary. Not only the similarity of words but also more dependable evidence from early Tamil Literature also bears testimony to this trade. The western merchants who visited were known as Yavanas, which is derived from the Greek Iaones, the name of the Greek nation in their own language. In the old Sanskrit epic poetry, the word Yavana is invariably used to denote the Greeks.34
Similarly in ancient Tamil poems also, the name Yavana appears to have been applied exclusively to the Greeks and Romans. The poet Nakkirar addresses the Pandyan Prince Nanmaran in the following words:
"O! Mara, whose sound is ever victorious! Spend
thou they days in peace and joy, drinking
daily out of golden cups presented by thy
handmaids, the cool and fragrant wine
brought by the Yavanas in their good ships.35
The Yavanas alluded to by there poets, were undoubtedly the Egyptian Greeks because from the Periplus it is learnt that the Greek merchants from Egypt brought wine, brass, lead glass etc. for sale to Muciri and purchased pepper, betel, ivory pearls and fine Muslins. The Greeks sailed from Egypt in the month of July and arrived at Muciri about forty days.36
The Romans succeeded the Greeks as the carriers of trade after the time of Julius Ceasar. As the Indian seas were infested by pirates, the Greek merchants brought with them cohorts of archers on board their ships. The superior arms and discipline of the Roman Soldiers inspired in the Tamils a desire to become better acquinted with the Romans and to share their civilization. The Pandyan King was the first to realise the benefit of Trade with the Romans.
The Yavanas are known to have been employed by South Indian merchants for rendering certain kinds of service for which they were specially qualified. For instance the Roman soldiers were enlisted in the armies of certain Pandya rulers. The Mullaippattu depicts the personal appearance of the Yavanas, their distinctive habits as well as their arranging skill in certain arts and crafts. It explains that their spoken languages was unintelligible to the Tamils and consequent by the Yavanas were obliged to use gesture in order to make themselves understood.37 The Purananuru speaks of the delicious wine which was eagerly sought for by kings and courtiers. The literary evidences tallies with the data furnished by the Greek writers. Pliny, and Plotemy describe the conditions of trade in the early centuries of the Christian Era. Not only internal and external evidences but also the archaeological evidences bear testimony to the trade of the Tamils with Greeks and Romans.
Archaeological evidence at Arikamedu revealed that Poduke which is identifiable with modern pondicherry was a centre of trade with Greeco-Roman world. Mortimer wheeler concludes that the site was occupied by the Romans at the end of the 1st century A.D. and that it was deserted sometime in the 2nd Century A.D. After the 2nd century A.D. there was marked decline of Roman trade with Tamilakam because of the growing anarchy in the Roman empire.38 The Roman trade with the Tamil Land and other parts of India was carried on, on such a large scale that, as stated by Pliny, there was no year in which India did not rest the Roman Empire of atleast fifty millions of sesterces sending in return wares which were sold for a hundred times their original value.39 There appeared an increasing protest against the import trade which resulted in the drain of bullion.40 But the trade did not thrive when "Alaric, the Goth levied his war indemnity from Rome in A.D. 409 in terms included the delivery of 3000 pounds of pepper".41
As regards the trade with the Arabs, there are references in Patirruppattu. The traders from Arabia called the market at Muciri as pandhar. Pandhar is an Arabic term.
Trade with the East
With the East, too there was a brisk trade from an early period. The earliest trade relationship with the East appears to have commenced with China. On the basis of the Chinese annals, schoff thinks that the trade with China flourished as early as the 7th Century B.C. confirm the fact of Indian Commodities having reached China. It may be mentioned here that a Chinese coin of the 2nd century B.C. has been discovered at Chandravalli in Mysore. But definite proofs are not available to prove the earliest trade relationship with China.
Tamilakam had trade contacts with South and South East Asia including Ceylon, Burma, Java, Malaya and regions farther East. Though there is only one literary evidence about the trade of the Tamils with Ceylon in Sangam literature archaeological monuments at Ceylon testify to the trade contact.42 At Anurathapura, the ancient capital of Ceylon Brahmi inscriptions are there. This inscription refers to a big business house at Anurathapuram in the 2nd centruy B.C.
As regards Burma, Ptolemy's 'Golden Chryse' was apparently a translation of Swarnabhumi. The author of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea records that very large ships called 'Colandia sailed to Cheryse from the ports on the Coromandel coast of South India. Champa, the present Annam obviously owed its name to the ancient capital of the Chola country Kavirippumpattinam, which was also known as Champa. The fact that name of this Chola city, which was also a famous port was adopted by this place suggested active commercial contact. It may be added that the oldest inscription in the region of Chamba, the Vo-Chant inscription, as it is called is unquestionably South Indian in its script.43
Malaya must have had commercial relationship with Tamilnadu from an early time, though specific details are not available. Several common Malay words like those for leaf, washerman, couple and marriage pledge are indubitably traced to Tamil origin.
Sumatra, Java, Bali and the islands farther east had close cultural contact with South India during the first two centuries A.D. The Dravidian tribal names among the Batak in Sumatra are indicative of early association. The so called East Indian islands of Indonesia were called Savagam or Savaganadu. Among the discoveries at Arikamedu are celladon-ware sherds which are stated to have been common in China and South East Asia. Therefore, Roman ships proceeding to China and South East Asia touched ports in Tamilnadu.
There were established markets or Bazaars called ankadi in the bigger towns, while elsewhere hawkers brought most of the things to the doorstep of the households. In some cases, articles were sold at the centre of manufacture; e. g. salt was in the case of those who resided in the coastal trades sold near the salt pans.44
There were two kinds of traders: (a) those who manufactured and sold at the place of manufacture and (b) those who went about selling the goods the retailers who were mostly hawkers. There were two kinds of markets in the leading cities like Pukar and Madurai.45 There were Allankadi (Evening or Night markets) as distinguished from Nalankadi (Day time markets.)46 The market places were also called Avanam.47 In the market large varieties and large quantities of goods were sold and purchased and crowds thronged and busy transactions took place.
A notable description of the heavy transactions in the bazaar is provided in the Maduraikkanchi but it is open to doubt whether the accounts picture can be taken to provide a perfectly accurate picture. Nevertheless despite exaggerations in respect of details the general picture of busy activity may be to have been true.
An idea of the elaborate descriptions of the wide variety of articles sold in the markets of Kaverippumpattinam or pukar as it was commonly known textile goods, bronze and copper-ware dolls, perfumes of various kinds, flowers, sandal paste, scented powders, false hair and dye were some of the articles for sale. Besides these were edible food stuffs of different kinds like rice cakes, fish, mutton and vegetables salt and grains of various varieties were in abundance. Though paddy was the principal crop other grains like the varagu and tinai were also sold. Horse grain, black grain, millets beans and sugarcane were the other important crops. Several varieties of paddy were cultivated, the names of which are known from Sangam works. They are vennel, Aivananel, Torai, Chennel and Pudunel. The48 Chennel and Pudunel were apparently more refined varieties cultivated in the futile plains.49 Ornaments and jewels besides fanciful articles made by coppersmith and workers in silver and bronze were also available.50
The bazaars at Madurai appear to have been bigger in size and more notable in the volume of business transacted than those at Kavirippumpattinam. There were streets where diamonds, rubies and pearls were sold. Streets where dress, corn and miscellaneons articles were sold also existed. In Madurai too there were the Nalankadi nad Alllankadi. Many foreigners were found engaged in wholesale transactions.51
From the scanty evidence available in the literary works of the age, it may be inferred that the dealings were fair. It is learnt that merchants openly announced the profit which they made.
Units of measurement
The common vessel for mesuring grain was known as ampanam, this was in all probability the precursor of the well Known Marakkal. There is however no means of knowing whether the sub-division, Padi had come into usage during the Sangam age. But Nali the equivalent of Padi was known, as can be seen from the Purananuru and the Mullaippattu.52 Balances seem to have been used even under barter. They were more regularly used in larger transactions in markets and bazaars. The Kol denoted the balance rod53 kannam is the name applied to the goldsmiths balance.54 It may be observed that ka denoted a rod from the extremities of which wooden pans were suspended.55 Presumably rich merchants used yard sticks made of ivory.56
Trading Communities :
Though generally industry and the consequent trade were carried on by groups of hereditary craftsmen pursuing their profession at the ancestral work place rarer instances of persons of any one caste being engaged in activity not prescribed for their caste.57
Nakkirar, the poet considered to be a brahmin was engaged in the conch-cutting industry. It is interesting to note that goldsmiths and even blacksmiths were poets of Sangam age. For instance Sey kollan Vannaganar, was a poet who composed song 363 of the Akananuru, Madurai kollan Vennaganar was the author of the song 285 of Narrinai. We also hear of certain traders in particular commodities like the kulavanigam, Aruvaivanigam, and the dealer in palm leaves. A few of the poets belonged to the class of merchants Madurai Aruvai Vanigan Ilavettanar, Madurai Kulavanigan sittalai Sattanar, Uraiyur Ilampon Vanigar and Kavirippumpattinathu Pon Vanigar, Beri Sattanar, Uraiyur Ilampon Vanigar and Kanian Punkundarayattanar were some poets belonging to the merchant community of the Sangam epoch.
Imports and Exports
All the articles prepared in Egypt for the markets of Tamilakam as well as all the produce of Tamilakam itself finally centred on the Chola Coast. "Horses were brought from distant lands beyond the seas, pepper was brought in ships; gold and precious stones came from the mountain of north; sandal and akil came from the mountain towards the west; pearls from the southern seas and coral from the eastern seas. The produce of the regions watered by the Ganges; all that is grown on the banks of the Kaveri; articles of food from Eelam or Sri Lanka and the manufactures of kalakam were brought to the markets of Pukar.58
In the bazaar of Pukar, dyes scented powder, sandal paste, flowers and aromatic wood like akil were sold in abundance. Tamilakam imported from the Yavanas the excellent wine. The expression Yavanar nan kalam tanda tan kamal teral occurs in a stanza in Purananuru refers to this article of import. The Yavanas exported to Tamilakam sugar candy also. A lamp shaped like a black swans (the odiman) was an article in great demand; the peculiarity of this type of lamp was the flame in it did not flicker but was a steady flame and it was a novelty to the Tamils.59
Some of these lamps were like statues (Pavai vilakku) bearing in their folded palms the takali or the can containing the oil to light the lamp.60
Tamilakam exported her gold ornaments. The periplus testifies to thw South Indian export of cocanut oil, while pliny includes bananas, rice, millets and various medical plant products, including tamarind. The imports into Muciri are given by the Periplus as "a great quantity of coin, topaz, thin clothing, linen, antimony, coral, crude glass, copper, tin lead, moderate quantities of wine and wheat only for the sailors, for this is not dealt in by the merchants there". The exports from there included "the pepper coming from kottanora (Kuttanadu) great quantities of fine pearls, ivory, silk cloth".61
Though Tamilakam exported fine varieties of cloth, she seem to have imported certain varieties of cotton fabric form other places herself. Kalingam and Kalagam were varieties of cloth imported from the kalinga land and Malaya. Large ships laden with "Tamarind which was mixed up with jaggery and salt and dried mutton chops, carried the large ornaments and horses tamed with difficulty to the Yavana Land".62 Pearls, gold, diamond and ivory were the chief articles the Tamils exported to the North. It is interesting to note that among the exports from India to the west, tigers, elephants, hounds, parrots, peacocks, serpents and pythons were included.
The trade of Sangam Tamilakam was brisk and had developed all the ancillary requirements of harbours, shipping and light houses etc.
There were several sea-ports both on the western and eastern coasts of Tamilakam. We have some information about them from the early Sangam classics as well as the later Tamil works, they are amply supplemented by the data by the foreign writers of the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. The harbour was called Pukar in Kavirippumpattinam.
The Pattinappalai gives a fairly detailed description of the harbour of Pukar and the activities there. The harbour especially was a safe harbour even for the bigger vessels. They could enter the harbour without removing the carge or slacking sail; and yet be quite safe and stable.63
The Commodities kept and the seal put by the Chola officers are recorded in the Pattinappalai 64.
On the east coast, next in importance to Pukar was the town of Korkai, the primary sea port of the Pandyas. Korkai was the chief town of the leading Paradavar or fishermen of the region. Akananuru speaks about the glory of the pearls of Korkai. The grace beauty and the fineness of the pearls are described in some of the Sangam poems.65 Maduraik kanchi, Sirupanarruppadai, Akananuru, and Narrinai poems contain information about Korkai. All the references about Korkai when compared with the foreign accounts, they tally with each other. Korkai, the chief town in the country of the Parathavar tribe was the seat of pearl fishery and the population of the town consisted mostly of pearl divers and chank cutters. The pearl fishery was a source of such large revenue to the Pandyan Kingdom.
On the west coast according to the Sangam works, the most prominent harbour was Muciri identical with the Muziris of the foreign writers and modern Cranganor.66 Pliny speaks of Muciri as the most important port of India. Other writers like the author of the Periplus, and Plotemy also speak of the busy traffic at Muciri. Their accounts are confirmed by the poets of thw Sangam age.
Other ports :
Tindi is Tondi appearing in the Sangam works now a small village in South Malabar.67 But the identification of the other ports mentioned by Periplus, Naoora, Nelkunda and Bakara is not easy. Plotemy the Alexandrian geographer of the 2nd Century A.D. refers to a few more like Baramagara and Kalaikarias between Tundis and Muziris and further South Vaikkarai. Podoperour, Semne and Koreoura. V. Kanakasabai identified Bramagara with Brahmakulam and Kalikarias with Chalakuri, but these await further confirmation.
Warehouses for storing the merchandise were built on the beach near the fisherman's quarters: 'Limitless quantities of goods were collected in these warehouses and they lay there waiting to be shipped abroad Pattinappalai while mentioning about Kavirippumpattinam mentions that the Chola officials affixed the tiger seal on the bags of cargo.68
Light houses :
The Chief ports had light houses called Klankarai ilanku Chudar the bright light that beckons the ships.69 The light houses were not specially built structures serving exclusively the purpose of beckoning ships but were powerful lamps set up on top of the tallest building on the coast.
The trading community of the Tamils differed in their principle from the others. They earned through trade for the welfare of the humanity. They wished the whole community to happily live without hunger. They lived according to the principle of Aram.70
The integrity and honesty of the merchant communities revealed by the Sangam literature speak about the glory of the Tamils in their trade and commercial activities also.
Singaravelu, Social Life of the Tamils, (Kulalampur, 1966) pp. 46-56
K.K. Pillay, A Social History of the Tamils, (Madras, 1975) p.239, F.N.I.
P.T. Srinivasa Aiyangar, Pre-Aryan Tamil culture, (Madras, 1924), p.80.
K.K. Pillay, op. cit. p.139.
Akananuru : 60 : 4; Kuruntogai : 269 ; Pattinappalai : 29-30.
"?‘?;? ? ˜?;? —?ƏŦquot; -Kuruntogai,
Perumpanarruppadai - 164-165.
Pattinappalai : 29-30; Kuruntokai : 269
Porunararruppadai, 216-7; Pattinappalai : 29-30.
Narrinai : 118 : 9-11
In towns like Madurai and Kavirippumpattinam the barter economy could not prevail. But in the villages it would be a success.
N. Subramaniam, Sangam Policy, p. 232; Puram : 163.
Akam. 315 : 12; Puram. 343 : 5
Madurai. 81-83; 321-323; Pattinappalai, 126-131; 299: 2-3 Akam . 149: 9-10; Puram. 66: 1-2; 381 : 23-24, 50 : 1-2, 343 : 5-6.
Porunararruppadai, 49; Kuruntokai 329:3; Pura. 106.
Akam. 89: 10-13 op. cit.
Dr. K. K. Pillay. op. cit. p. 241
Notes on the Amarawathi Stuba, J. Burgess, 1812, Archaeological Survey of India, p.80.
Sayce : Hibbert Lecturers, 1887 (London, 1889).
P.T. Srinivasa Iyengar, History of th Tamils, (1929 p.39). It is contended, by him that Musilin must have been exported directly by sea from South India and that the Babylonian word is derived from the old Draividan word 'sindhi' which in Tulu and Kannada denotes even today a
piece of cloth.
W.H. Schoff, The periplus of the Erythrean Sea, p.3.
J. Kennedy, Early Commerce of Babylon with India, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1898, p.243.
Malaipadukadam : 44; Kurinjippattu : 191. The contention of Vaiyapuri Pillai in his History of Tamil Language and Literature (pp. 8-10) that the word originally meant only the tail or feather is incorrect.
Betel = Verrilai; Hel = Elam; Keri = Kari; Onetry = Arici. Zengiril = Injiver; Ahal = Ahil, Tuki = Togai.
Weber's History of Indian Literature, p. 220.
Wilfred H. Schooff, The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, Oriental Book Reprint (New Delhi, 1974), pp. 205-207.
K.A. Neelakanta Sastri, Cholas, p.85.
Nat. History, IV-26.
Gibbons, Decline and fall of Roman Empire, Ch.3.
Tacitus, Annals, III, 53.
Col. Gerini, J.R.A.S., 1904, pp. 234-247.
Akam : 93-10
Pattinappalai, 158; Malai, 114-5.
Purananuru, 61, Pattinappalai, 12-14.
Ibid. 503; 22.
Puram. 189 : 5; Mullaippattu, 9.
Ibid : 317-8
Kalittokai, 142-157; Perumpanarruppadai : 171.
N. Subramani, Sangam Policy : p. 23.
Pattu. 9 : 185-191
Ibid. 4 : 316-318
Ibid. 7 : 101-103.
Wilfred H. Sehoff Loc. cit.
Pattu. 6 : 318 : 539.
Puram. 30; Pattu. 6 : 541 pattu. 3 : 349-357. Periplus called it as Kamara and Ptolemy called it khaberis.
Pattu. 9 : 129-136.
Ibid. 6 : 135 ; 257; Akam. 9 : 201.
Akam; 142; Puram. 343.
Pattu. 4 : 340-351.
Ibid. 9:206-210; 6:500.
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