[INDOLOGY] Brahmin in Akam 337? (Re: dacoits, bandits, thugs and other unsavory characters)

Suresh Kolichala suresh.kolichala at gmail.com
Tue Jun 11 02:43:07 UTC 2013

On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM, <palaniappa at aol.com> wrote:

> Considering that the form pārppār often occurs as pāppār, clearly even as
> late as 9th century 'pārppāṉ', its singular form, must not have been
> restricted to refer to brahmins.[...] if one were to consider the term
> 'pārppāṉ' linguistically, we see that the usual interpretation that it
> referred to brahmins as seers based on '*pār*-' 'to see' (as implied by
> DEDR 4091a and b as given below) is unwarranted.

Dear Palaniappan:

Very interesting discussion. What percentage of the Tamil-Brahmi
inscriptions show the spelling of pāppār as opposed to pārppār?

1. I believe *pār (-pp-, -tt-)* 'to see' is unrelated to * pā(r)ppāṉ*
 Although DEDR grouped them under the same entry (4091a and 4091b), I am
not very sure if we can make a semantic connection of 'see' with 'seer' in

2. CDIAL entry 9327 shows Pk. *baṁbhaṇa,*S. *ḇã̄bhaṇu, *kal. *baṁbhana, *OB.
 *bāmbhaṇa, *Or. *bāmbhuṇa*, *bābhuṇa, *Bi. Mth. *bābhan, *Bhoj.*bāmhan*, *
bābhan, *among other reflexes. We cannot ignore the close similarity of
these reflexes with Te. *bã̄p**ã**ḍu*, Ta. *pāppāṉ**.*

3. I think you would agree that connecting *pōṟṟi/**pō**ṯṯi *with *
pā(r)ppāṉ *is a bit far fetched.

Without more information about the socio-linguistic situation of the early
periods of the Indo-Aryan and Davidian interaction, I think, we cannot
easily determine if *pār (-pp-, -tt-)* 'to see' is related to *
pā(r)ppāṉ* 'Brahmin'
or not.

Atlanta, GA.

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