request for reading literature.

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Dec 29 05:46:10 UTC 1998

Ashish Chandra wrote:
> Could someone please suggest an old Tamilian/Dravidian scripture that talks
> of the flight from the North to the South after the "Aryan invasion". I
> would appreciate if someone could direct me to the oldest such surviving
> scripture.

This would presume that Tamil and other Dravidian speakers had all been
driven southwards by the invaders / migrants.

In K.V. Zvelebil's _Dravidian Linguistics: An Introduction_
(Pondicherry: Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, 1990),
we read: "Linguistic evidence gathered so far strongly suggests that the
present locations of Dravidian languages result from a number of
_distinct movements,_ involving a number of groups of speakers. We have
no reason to assume that all of the Dravidian speakers came from the
West by the _same_ route or at the _same_ time. Some may have come
through Afghanistan via the mountain passes and river valleys; others
may have come along the coast, possibly even by sea." (p. 47).

He also quotes himself, from an earlier work: "The Dravidians were a
highlander folk, sitting, sometime round 4000 B.C., in the rugged
mountainous areas of North-Eastern Iran... whence, round about 3500
B.C., they began a South-Eastern movement into the Indian sub-continent
which went on for about two and a half millenia. 'Along the route',
various Dravidian speaking tribes 'peeled off' the main stock, the first
to come off being the peoples speaking some form of North-Western
Dravidian, who might have played an important, even a leading role in
the ethnolinguistic composition of the Indus Valley peoples. The
movement went on, and with it the 'losses along the route', until the
Southernmost part of the peninsula was reached by the Proto-Tamils, who
established, between ca. 600-400 B.C., the first historically
recognizable literate and highly cultured Dravidian-speaking
civilization." (p. 48). (From his article "The Descent of the
Dravidians", IJDL 1 (1972), 2.57-63.)

So the presumption of Tamilians and others being driven southwards by
invaders should not be taken for granted. And so we need not expect any
'scripture' describing this.


Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Mysore (India)
e-mail zydenbos at

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