History of Tamil Language – Tamil The Ancient Language
Ancient Indian literature has great values, the Vedas and Sangam literature of Tamil gives the moral of life. Tamil language is the oldest and beautiful Dravidian language. The literary tradition of Tamil language is more than 2,200 years, the most remarkable thing is secular poetry extant in India.
Sanskrit and Prakrit (600 BC-600AD), are the other two pre-Aryan languages. Age of Tamil language can not be calculated. However, if we see the evolutionary story of Dravidian language and script are controversy among Language research scholars even today.
History of Tamil Language – The Sangam composition
The Sangam compositions are anthologies of poems grouped into two
The Eight Collections called Ettuttokai in Tamil and
Ten Idyls called Pattup-pattu in Tamil.
And some individual long poems in Tamil called Kavyas.
these poems are based on two themes, akam the romantic and puram the martial, the poems are explained with imageries of seasons, places, plants and animals, enabling scholars to know the world of these ancient poets.
Tamil literary output up to 500AD is simply amazing with largest collection of Tamil poems.
History of Tamil Language - Devotional Tamil Literatures
By the next century, there was a division in Tamil Language Literature. Shaivarkal (devotes of Shiva) and Vaishanvarkal (devotes of Vishnu) writers emerged, this was a turning point in Tamil literature to hog the limelight in Devotional themed Literatures. The corpus of Shaiva hymns, songs of Shaiva hymns sung till today, were compiled in Tirumurarais which was in 11th century.
The Vaishnava saints are base for devotional songs and Tamil culture in 500-1000AD India especially South India . Their songs were collected put together in the name of Nalayira divya pirapantam in Tamil it is also called the ‘Book of 4000 Hymns’.in Tamil.
History of Tamil Language - Tamil Poets and Tamil Poems
Some of the popular Tamil poets lived in the times of 10th-13th centuries in Chola kingdom . Kampa Ramayana in Tamil is best till today. The great man called Ottakkuttan wrote the Uttara Kanda in Ramayana which is the last canto of the Ramayana.
Tamil poet called Pukazhenti popularized the Mahabharata with his simple adaptations in Tamil, and the poet Chayam Kontar explains the situation in the battle field after the completion of a war in his Tamil poem Kalingattu Parani, in the Sangam style. Didactic works, grammatical treatises and lexicons in Tamil Literature were produced from time to time by Jain writers.
History of Tamil Language - The Poetry
Later the way and style of Tamil Language has changed , then Shaiva and Vaishnava philosophies, and literature influenced by Sanskrit. Some of these were the esteemed Bharatham in Tamil by Tamil poet Villiputthurar, Thiruppuhazh in Tamil (hymns) by Tamil poet Arunagirinathar. Some popular purana stories were translated in Tamil.
Some brilliant stray verses of this period has been preserved still, the late anthologies like
Tamil poet Kalamegham,
Tamil poet Satthimutthapulavar and
Tamil poet Padikkasu Thambiran.
European Christian missionaries also took to Tamil in the 16th century, and the first book in Tamil was printed in 1579. In 18th century Sakkari Pulavar poems and Umaru Pulavar poems are popular and brought new themes in Tamil writings.
History of Tamil Language - Modern Tamil Literature
In 19th century a modern trend in Tamil literature was emerged by a group of Tamil writers influenced by English language
Vedanayakam Pillai wrote the first original novels in Tamil and dramas in Tamil in 1824-1889.
Tamill literary giant of the 20th century was Subramania Bharathiyar, the freedom fighter. Subramania Bharathiyar songs and poems are patriotic and well known. Though there was some improvement in Tamil poems the growth of Tamil prose has been pretty slow, the Romantic novels of C R Srinivasa Aiyangar,
Social novels like Padmavati and Vijaya Marttandam of writer A.s Madhavayya,
Kamalambal in tamil by Rajam Iyer and S. Venkataramani's Murugam are very popular. V V S Iyer and Rajaji, wrote short stories in Tamil and Dramas in Tamil.