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This is a classic work of early South Indian history first published in 1881, and republished in 1982, 1989 & 2004 under this abbreviated title by Asian Educational Services at New Delhi. The author, Robert Caldwell 1814-91, was a Christian missionary in South India for more than fifty years, and in 1877 was consecrated Bishop in Tirunelveli. He first came to international recognition as an orientalist when his ground-breaking book about the Dravidian family of South Indian languages was published in 1856 (see under References). In it he showed that they were a very ancient group of languages which had developed separately from Sandskrit and the Indo-Aryan languages of the north.
Caldwell then set out to investigate the early origins of this separate South Indian civilisation, even studying palm leaf manuscripts and Sangam literature in his search. He made several excavations, finding the foundations of ancient buildings and sepulchral urns. At Korkai,which the non-Brahmin movement regarded as the cradle of ‘South Indian civilisation’, he found coins with the fish emblem of the Pandya kings.
The product of all this work was the book under review, published by the Government of Madras in 1881. Dr Robert Frykenberg, an authority on Caldwell’s works, wrote that this "book, drawn from archaeological, epigraphic and literary sources, is perhaps his most comprehensive single work”. It is said that the combined impact of this book together with his earlier work on Dravidian languages, both controversially stressing the separate history and development of South Indian civilisation, laid the foundations there for the strongly anti-Brahman cultural and political movements which followed in the 20th century.
Y. Vincent Kumaradoss: “Robert Caldwell: A Scholar-Missionary in Colonial South India”. ISPCK 2007, pp.155-160.
Robert Eric Frykenberg: “Robert Caldwell, missionary and orientalist”. OUP (Oxford DNB) 2004-07.
Robert Caldwell: “Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages”, Harrison, 59 Pall Mall, London, 1856; second edition 1875 (still in print)
ACCOUNT OF THE FLOODS AND PE8TILENTIAL FEVER IN TINNEVELLY
Malik Kafurs invasion 34 Marco Polos Sonder Bandi 35 Sundaras
Defeat of the Ballla king 44 End of the Ballla dynasty 44 Canarese traces
of Madura 89 Tippus djsigns 89 Meaning and origin of the name 89 Age
FROM THE ASSIGNMENT OF REVENUE IN 1781 TO THE COMMENCEMENT
THE LAST POLIGAR WAR
Portuguese expedition 232 Baptism of the Paravas on the Tinnevelly coast 232 Xavier
Korkai identified 282 Kayal 283 Retirement of the sea from both places 283 Exca