Sources of South Indian History - Informative & researched article on Sources of South Indian History
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesHistory of India


in  
 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
History of India|Indian Temples|Indian Museums|Indian Literature|Geography of India|Flora & Fauna|Indian Purans|Indian Philosophy|Indian Administration|Indian Languages|Education
Home > Reference > History of India > History of South India > Sources of South Indian History
Sources of South Indian History
Information on the unblemished history of south India can be found from various sources available.
 
 Sources of South Indian HistoryIndia is fortunate in being endowed with a rich and dynamic historical, socio-economic, cultural and architectural legacy.

The sources that furnish information to the historian can be broadly classified into two categories namely the literally sources and the archaeological sources.

Literary sources
Literary sources mainly refer to old book, manuscripts and maps. Before the invention of paper, books and manuscripts were written on materials such as birch, palm leaves, sheep leather, wood blocks and stone tablets. These are now preserved in various libraries and museums. The literary sources may be further sub-divided into religious literature and non-religious secure literature.

Religious Literature
Religious literature refers to books and manuscripts dealing with religion. The religious literature of the Hindus includes the Vedas, the epics Ramayanas and the Mahabharata as well as the Puranas. These works were written in Sanskrit language. One of the important specimens of the religious literature of Tamil Nadu is the Periya Puranam. It deals with the life stories of the Nayanmar saints (devotes of Lord Siva) All religious texts throw light on the spiritual aspect as well as socio-cultural and economic life of the people.

Secular Literature
Secular Literature refers to books and manuscripts on subjects other than religion. Secular literature includes books on law and polity. One such notable book is Arthasastra by Kuatilya. Law-books called Dharmasutras and Smritis together with their commentaries are called Dharmasastras. These books list the duties and responsibilities of people belonging to different professions. Sources of South Indian HistoryThe books also prescribe punishments for persons guilty of crimes such as theft and murder. Among the important secular texts of south India, are some of the old Tamil poems such as Tirukkural. These poems were mostly composed in formal assemblies or gatherings of poets and scholar.

Oral Traditions
Oral traditions such as proverbs, nonsense rhymes and mythological legends also constitute a valuable source of information for the historian. You too may have heard some such stories and rhymes from your parents and grand-parents. Such oral sources are, however, not considered as reliable and authentic as the written sources because the oral stories are subject to change while being told and retold by different people.

Foreign Accounts
Apart from the indigenous literature, the writings of foreign scholars and travelers are also useful for reconstructing the history of ancient South India. The ancient Indians traded with many far-off lands including Greece and Rome. The Greece and Roman sailors and travelers who visited India have left valuable accounts of the people here.

Archaeological Sources
Archaeology is a specialized science dealing with the material remains of ancient civilizations. Archaeologists systematically and scientifically excavate ancient site and unearth interesting materials such as coins, vessels, terracotta toys, beads, jewellery and rarely, even ruins of old buildings. These materials throw light on day-to-day life of the ancient people.

Archaeological sources include monuments, art objects like paintings and sculptures, inscriptions or epigraphs and coins. South India boasts of the largest volume of inscriptions in the whole world.

(Last Updated on : 22/05/2014)
More Articles in History of South India  (190)
Recently Updated Articles in History of India
Princely State of Narsinghgarh
Princely State of Narsinghgarh was under the administrative control of the Bhopal Agency. The region was scattered over a total area of 1901 sqkm.
Sakyamuni
Sakyamuni is another name of Gautama Buddha, the reviver of Buddhism.
Literature during Mauryan Empire
Literature during Mauryan Empire was composed either in Sanskrit or Prakrit or Pali. Chanakya was the well known author of that time.
Kadambas of Banavasi
Kadambas of Banavasi in Karnataka were famous for their inscriptions.
Kadamba Dynasty in Hangal
Kadamba dynasty in Hangal helped the Western Chalukyas thereby re establishing the Kadamba dynasty. Chatta Deva was the founder of Kadambas of Hangal.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum
Forum on History of India
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Reference
 
 
Sources of South Indian History - Informative & researched article on Sources of South Indian History
Sitemap
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.