Thu Jul 16 13:55:32 UTC 1998

A 20:08 13/07/98 -0600,
vous ("N. Ganesan" <GANESANS at CL.UH.EDU>) avez écrit :
> A tolkAppiyam poruL atikAram sUttiram says:
>" nATaka vazakkin2um ulakiyal vazakkin2um
> pATal cAn2Ra pulan2eRi vazakkam
> *kaliyE paripATTu Ayiru pAvin2um*
> uriyatu Akum en2man2Ar pulavar. "
>This tol. rule essentially says love poems must be written
>in either kali or paripATTu meter and this custom is followed by
>poets before him.
>This contradicts with S. Vaiyapuri Pillai's theory that
>tol. was written after Sangam poetry were composed.

I feel your interpretation and your conclusions
are open to discussion but it would probably be a very
long one.

To add other elements to the total sum
of evidences and learned opinions, I will today
quote prof. George L. Hart III's viewpoint,
as it appears on page 10 in his 1975 book (PAT):
"The poems of Ancient Tamil, their milieu
 and their Sanskrit counterpart"
 University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-02672-1

"The _Tolkaappiyam_, a treatise on grammar and poetic convention,
 is generally said to have been written even before the anthologies.
 This claim, if true, would make that work of great importance
 in this investigation. However, Mahadevan has shown
 that the writing system described by the _Tolkaappiyam_,
 and specifically the part that calls for putting a dot (_puLLi_)
 over a letter to indicate that it is not followed by the vowel _a_
 (as a _virAma_ in Sanskrit), was not used until several centuries
 after the period of the anthologies. In other words, parts
 of the _Tolkaappiyam_ are quite late, though some parts
 may be as early as has been generally claimed. Unfortunately,
 since it is quite impossible to separate the early parts
 of the _Tolkaappiyam_ from the later parts, that work
 cannot be relied upon for historical data on the period
 of the anthologies" (PAT, p.10)

I am afraid I won't be able to take part in the discussion
on the date of Tolkaappiyam for some time, because I am leaving
for India during the weekend. But I hope it will still
be going when I come back, in September. Special thanks
to N.Ganesan and S.Palaniappan for their contributions
that I enjoyed very much, even when (or maybe, _especially when_)
I disagree with part of their views. I find it rewarding
to try to get near the core questions and to see
how authorities always boil down to the evidences they refer to.

Best wishes to all


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