(Last Updated on : 16/02/2009)
The ancient Romans had a long lasting influence on South Indian society, economy, art and architecture. They brought distant trade here and it resulted in the growth of numerous urban centres throughout South India, mainly in the Tamil Nadu and Andhra region of Southern India.
The trade centres were grown by the Romans in the places like the capital cities such as Madurai, port-towns such as Kaveripattinam and at industrial centres such as Kodumanal. The Romans also had a huge impact on the production of sculptures, jewels and few other objects, which were stylistically similar to the Roman ones.
In the South Indian state Andhra Pradesh, the Indian people built an amphitheatre, which was no doubt inspired by the Roman amphitheatres. The Roman influence can also be noticed in some of the sculptures at Amaravati (Andhra) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
The ancient Roman coins were also used by the South Indians as their currency. Thus it got the status of multinational currency of that period. The affect of the Roman coins can be noticed in the ancient Indian coinage. The Roman impact can be seen in the size, weight, art-motifs and in minting techniques of the coins.
Some of the royal portraits on the coins were modeled based on the portraits showing on the Roman coins. These portraits include several ancient Indian dynasties such as the Sangam Cheras, Sangam Pandyas, Satavahanas and Western Kshatrapas.
Most of the Roman type of polity, society and culture intermingled with Indian traditions and beliefs have survived till today.