SEMINAR IN S,SEASN - Writing a South Indian Empire: Textual Culture in the Cōḻa State


The Cōḻa dynasty (9th -- 13th c.), whose kings rose from their early origins in the Kaveri river delta to become the foremost lords of peninsular India, ruled over the most celebrated empire in south Indian history.  This course examines the texts and textual culture that articulated Cōḻa rule: in Tamil, from the narration of an ancient past in the Tamil poetry of the early centuries CE to the twelfth-century Tamil masterpieces that today stand as the core of the literary tradition; in Sanskrit, from the early genealogic panegyrics to the Śaiva texts centered around the great temple center of Chidambaram.  Textuality is to be construed broadly, with proper concern for Cōḻas' vast inscriptional record and patronage of the visual arts, and particular attention will be paid to issues of language choice and vernacularization.   No Tamil or Sanskrit required, but students with facility in these languages will be encouraged to discuss the primary sources in conjunction with the supplied translations.

This course may also be taken as TAMIL 210A Section 1 (CCN 85612) with more emphasis on Tamil texts.

Fall 2012