The Tamil language has been recognized by the linguists of the world as an ‘ancient’ and a ‘classical’ language. But it is very unfortunate that the early civilization of the Tamils is not recognized for its status as one of the most leading ancient civilizations, by the world historians. One of my books, ‘Pazhanthamil Samuthayamum Varalarum,’ was written to prove that the Tamil civilization was on par with the civilizations of Egypt, China and Greece in terms of its greatness and socio-economic development. Excavations at Adichanallur, Musiri, and Keezhadi have confirmed the existence of an urban civilization in Tamil Nadu, before the 6th century BC. Our book seeks to confirm the above with, various data from the excavations, inscriptions, coins, ancient Tamil literature, references from many foreign scholars, and also other sources.
The existence of city-states in Tamil Nadu dates back to 1000 BC. These city-states were the main factor responsible for the growth and excellence of the ancient Tamils. We must note that the western city-states, while being democratic, also practiced slavery. So, their society was divided into masters and slaves. Whereas, the communities in ancient Tamil city-states were divided into classes and were devoid of slavery. It must also be noted that the then Tamil monarchy was not absolute, but limited. Archaeologists such as Gordon Childe have confirmed that city-states were a more excellent socio-political set-up than that of empires, when world history is observed. Continuing on those lines, our book, ‘Pazhanthamil Samuthayamum Varalarum,’confirms that the ancient Tamil city-states were in many ways superior to the Magadha Empire of northern India. This book is a summary of that book essentially.
In ancient Tamil society, even before 2000 years ago, science and technology - as relative to the then societies - was developed; production was high; markets were much expanded; global trade was more pronounced, and the elements of business capitalism considerably developed. Because of this, the Tamil society identified themselves based on their language. But if we observe the more than 20 national Indian ethnic societies of today, we find that, none of them had managed to identify themselves linguistically, not even 400 years ago. So when compared to them, the ancient Tamil society was a much developed society, long back.
The city-states of ancient Tamil society while being on par with the Greek city-states, were in some respects, even above them. Because of its high development in agriculture, commodity production, technology, business management, etc., and because of the confederacy of the Tamil states, ancient Tamil Nadu maintained a superior position in world trade for more than 750 years from 600 BC to 150 AC.
The period of Sangam Age (from 750 BC to 50 BC) and the reigning years of Sangam rulers have been traced in this book. Apart from this, this book summarises multiple facts about ancient Tamil society like Tholkabilar, who founded ‘Enniyam’ (Sangiyam), being a Tamil. This also gives a complete overview of the ancient Tamil society.