SV: Classical languages of India

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Oct 22 21:31:42 UTC 2000

In a message dated 10/20/2000 5:59:17 AM Central Daylight Time,
lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM writes:

>...I wonder if you have read the paper
>  titled " zAtavAhana kings in ancient Tamilnadu" by A
>  Kamatchinathan of Annamalai University. ...

I was not aware of this paper when I posted my message. My posting resulted
from my reading of kaLaviyal. However, after L. Srinivas' message, I have
obtained the paper and read it. It does not alter my conclusions.

>  The paper proposes a Munda origin for the Satavahanas
>  and argues for Satavahana origin of certain Tamil
>  kings like the atiyamAn's of takaTUr.
>  Explanation for commissioning of works such as the
>  "cAtavAkanam" and for issuing of Tamil bilingual coin
>  etc is then developed as a natural corollary.

As I see it, the paper has several problems. For one thing, the etymologies
of names Satakarni and Satavahana are not satisfactorily explained to be of
Munda origin. Even more importantly, the name atiyamAn2 is simply not
explained etymologically at all. One has to have a leap (of faith) to a neaby
mountain, kutirai malai, to believe in this theory!

But the paper does say, "...Sa:tava:hanas also were found to have favoured
Tamil language and literature. For instance Sa:tava:han_am was a Tamil work
written under the patronage of some Sa:tava:hana king. This work disappeared
long ago (Ir_aiyan_a:r kal.aviyalurai 1943:6). More remarkably Sa:tava:hanas
issued bilingual coins containing both Prakrit and Tamil phrases
(Panneerselvam 1969). Scholars both Western and Eastern, have recently
traced  parallelisms between Ha:la's Sattasai, a collection of 700 erotic
poems in Prakrit and some love poems of Sangam Tamil Anthologies (Hart 1976)."

I see no merit in Kamatchinathan's statement: "The Andhra Sa:tava:hanas would
not have patronized Tamil and Tamil poets unless they had close geneological
connections with Tamilnadu." Royal patronage and geneological connections do
not have to go together.

S. Palaniappan

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