Dating of Old Tamil Cankam Literature

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at
Wed Jul 29 16:44:05 UTC 2015

I would like to know the state of scholarly reception of Prof. Tieken’s dating of Caṅkam literature to the 8th or 9th century CE. I would appreciate if the list members could point to Indologists who agree with Prof. Tieken’s views or publications that cite Prof. Tieken’s dating of Caṅkam literature with approval.

Thanks in advance


> On Jul 29, 2015, at 5:52 AM, Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at> wrote:
> Dear list members,
> To clear up a possible misunderstanding: in the publications I cited I do not provide examples of rhyme. In the message I react to Dominic Goodall's claim that the various types of rhyme as found in the Bhagavatapurana are first attested in Tamil Bhakti poetry and *therefore* point to a South Indian origin of the text. As I have tried to show in the publications mentioned, Tamil Bhakti poetry used song types typical of Prakrit/Apabhramsa literature, e.g., catuspada and lasya, on the one hand (examples also found in the Kalittokai), and caccari, on the other (examples also found in the Paripatal, the kuravai poems in the Kalittokai). So how can we be certain that the instances of rhyme in the Bhagavatapurana were inspired by Tamil literature and not directly by Indo-Aryan literature, this, irrespective of whether this influence took place in North or South India? In any case, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Apabhramsa literature were well known in the south as well, from at least the 8th or 9th century AD onwards, as shown by the so-called Old Tamil Cankam literature.
> Best, Herman
> Herman Tieken
> Stationsweg 58
> 2515 BP Den Haag
> The Netherlands
> 00 31 (0)70 2208127
> website: <>

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