ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS- A COURSE OF TWO LECTURES DELIVERED UNDER THE SANKARA-PARVATI ENDOWMENT, UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS by V. R. RAMACHANDRA DIKSHITAR. PREFACE: THE following pages represent a course of lectures delivered under the terms of the Sankara-Parvati En dowment, University of Madras, on the 29th and 30th of November 1940. An endeavour has been made in these lectures to examine the prevalent opinion held by scholars, both Western and Indian, on the origin of the Dravidians and their culture, and it is shown that the Tamils were the original inhabitants of the land, who had evolved an independent culture of their own which is generally known as Dravidian. These Tamils have handed down their culture to the succeeding generations in the East as well as in ttye West. Thus their contribution in the ancient and the modern times is something original, arresting and impressive. The Notes 1 appended to these lectures may enable the readers to form a judg ment on the conclusions reached by the author. I have to thank the Syndicate of the University of Madras for inviting me to deliver these lectures and permitting me to print them. ...V. R. RAMACHANDRA DIKSHITAK 1st May 1947. Contents include: Preface ...... v Lecture I Authors of Early Tamil Culture . . 1 Lecture II Spread of Tamil Culture Abroad . . 30 Notes to Lecture I . . . .54 Notes to Lecture II . . . .73 Index . . . . . . .101. LECTURE I: AUTHORS OF EARLY TAMIL CULTURE. IT is said that Geology looks farther than History. According to the geologist the antiquity of South India and Ceylon goes to the earliest Geological times. From Palaeozoic times there was the continent of Gondwana extending from Australia through Peninsular India and South Africa on to South America. At the close of the Mesozoic era this continent of Gondwana land broke up large areas went under the ocean. Australia, India. South Africa and South America became separ ated. But it is believed that India and Africa were still connected by an isthmus bridge, and to this the name Lemuria has been given. In the Jurassic epoch the eastward extension of the Indian Peninsula sank beneath the sea and gave rise to the Bay of Bengal. 1 Towards the end of the last Glacial period the sea level which was low, rose again with the melting of ice and resulted in extensive reef formation. It was during this period again the large area of dry land including Sumatra, Java and Borneo became eroded and pene planed, and when the sea rose, the peneplaned area 1 See footnotes at end of the lectures. became drowned, thus separating various islands. This geological action is explained as the occurrence of a great deluge in the Vedic, Epic and Puragic works, Manu who survived this catastrophe became the father of mankind. According to the account in the Bkagavata Pur tia, a part of the Dravida desa which centred the Malaya Hill survived this deluge. It is said that a fish who is regarded as the first avatar of Tirumal Sans...