Polity of Sangam Age
- Hereditary monarchy was the prevailing form of government Many terms used for the king was – Korravam, Ko, Vendam.
- Monarchal autocracy was at times mitigated by advice of ministers, poets and friends.
- Brahmans had the foremost role among those whose assistance the king sought in daily work.
- The Sangam rulers were famous for impartiality in justice.
- The highest court in the state was king’s assembly Manaram.
- The king held a daily darbar, Nalavai, at which he settled disputes.
- The king’s power was restricted by five councils which were known as the five great assemblies.
- The group of five was a recognized body of a council. These five consisted of a) Ministers – Amaichchar b) Purahis -Purahitar c) Army – Senapatiyar d) Envoys- Dutar e) Spies- Orrar
- The village was the fundamental unit of administration. In connection with the management of village affairs were come across the terms Manrom Podiyl and Avai.
The entire kingdom (big or small) was called Mandalam.
- The common many and possibly the largest single source of revenue was land tax. It was called Karai.
- A well known unit of territory yielding tax was a Variyam Vari meant tax. An officer in charge of collecting the tax from that unit of land was called a Variyar.
- The rate of land revenue was 1/6th of the produce of the land. Probably the customs and tolls were the next in Aggregate size to land revenue.
- Tamilham had an extensive trade with places like Rome and Egypt.
- The king is required to maintain secrecy in counsel, to devote the day to execution of his plans, and perform sacrifices.
- With the collected revenue the king could maintain a regular army. Captain of the Army was distinguished by the title of Enadi.
- Army consisted of 4 wings. a) Chariots b) Elephants c) Cavalry d) Infantry.
Religion and Ethics
- The basic feature of the religious life of Sangam Age is that it presence a syntheis of local religious practices and Vedic Aryan religion. The credit for this synthesis goes to sage Agastya. It was he who took the Vedic religion to South.
- The Brahmanas had established themselves as the priests of kings. According to legend priests of Pandya rulers belonged to Agastya Gotra of Brahmans. The rulers patronized the Vedic religion and the performance of Vedic rites, rituals and Yogya was quite common.
- Murugan was the most popular God of Sangam age. Later on the God was also called Subrahmanya. His another name is Velan.
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