Task-force A. The Tamil-Speaking South of India

Task-force A members : 

Emmanuel Francis (supervisor)
Sylvain Brocquet
Nicolas Cane
Valérie Gillet
Indra Manuel
Uthaya Veluppillai

The following subcorpora have been chosen to feed our online DHARMA-base:

(1) The 500 inscriptions of the Pallavas (6th–9 th c., Northern Tamil Nadu), a dynasty which played a major role in the “Indianisation” of South India (Francis 2013a, 2013b, 2017).

(2) A selection from the Cōḻa-period corpus (19,000 inscriptions, from 10th to 13th c., barely half of these are published) bearing on the patronage of religious institutions (Karashima et al. 2010, 2011).

(3) The inscriptions from Uttiramērūr (150 items, 9th–13th c.) will be revisited (Nilakanta Sastri 1932: 131ff.; Gros & Nagaswamy 1970), for in these we can read the modes of government and administration of a sabhā, an assembly of brahmins who are recipients of a brahmadeya (grant to one or more brahmins), which is increasingly in competition with a temple, the recipient of a devadāna (grant to the god of a temple).

(4) The corpus of Koṭumpāḷūr (50 items) the capital of the minor dynasty of the Irukkuvēḷs (9th–10th c.), whose temples show patronage both by the Irukkuvēḷs and by rival notables up to the 13th c.

(5) The corpus of Kīḻaiyūr-Mēlappaḻuvūr (150 items), the capital of the minor dynasty of the Paḻuvēṭṭaraiyars (9th–10th c.), where dynastic and local patronage alternate according to the nature of the properties concerned (devadāna or brahmadeya).

(6) A string of small-scale temples spread along the Kāvēri river (Tillaisthānam, Tirukkōṭikkāval, Lālkuṭi, etc.), selected because of their intriguing epigraphs (250 items) recording donations by the Pāṇḍya kings in the heart of the country of their Cōḻa rivals.

(7) The Pallava, Cōḻa, and Pāṇḍya inscriptions in Sanskrit from the Tamil area (c. 250 items), since these will be most readily comparable with the Sanskrit epigraphs of other regions.

(8) The inscriptions of Cīrkāḻi and Āccāḷpuram (75 items), since these places are associated with the firstmillennium singer-saint Campantar and will therefore throw light upon the institutionalisation of the recitation of the Tamil canon of devotional hymns.

(9) Inscriptions from important Jain sites (c. 75 items) which were the seat of ascetic activities and of lay religious life and received donations from
ruling families as well as the common people.

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