The Aryans (again); 19th century discourse.

Walker Trimble wytrimbl at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Mon Dec 28 00:51:49 UTC 1998

At 04:47 PM 12/17/98 -0500, you wrote:

>Dravidam as meaning wealth. When I had sent that to you, you wrote back
>saying that Dravida was coined by someone named Caldwell who used the
>following :
>                Tamizh -> Damila -> Dramila -> Dramida.  Robert Caldwell
coined the term,
>Dravidian from Dramida which means Tamil in Sanskrit.

I do not have Bp. Caldwell's pioneering grammar with me, but, from memory,
I believe that he outlines the etymology of Tamil differently, the reverse:

dravi.da/(var.)drami.da > > > tamil

It would be very easy to check by rereading the introduction to his
__Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages__.  I think
it is a wonderful piece of scholarship.  There was a reprint of it from
Oriental Books Reprint in 1974.
Also, he could not have gotten the name *Dravidian by deriving it from
Tamil (!).  He mentions a specific passage in Kumarila's commentary on the
third pada of the Jaimini Sutras (sorry no better reference during
Christmas) where he describes the Sanskritisation of "Mleccha" words.
I don't recall Caldwell citing what I think must be (*please correct!*) the
first mention of "dravi.das" in the Manava Dharmasastra.  The use of
"dravi.da" in Sanskrit as the classification of a group of people occurs in
many places -- Cf. Puranas, Architecture, &c.
However, Caldwell is the first scholar to use the term "Dravidian" as a
term for linguistic group derived by comparative methods.  Earlier scholars
(Fr. Paul Tedesco, I believe), used the term "Tamilian". Campbell thought
he needed a term that was more general and he used "Tamilian" as a subset.


Walker Trimble

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list