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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 324.


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324 TIE INDIAN EMPIRE [CHAP.
and the external influences which affected the coinage of the
Northern kingdoms are scarcely to be traced in the South.
As The Dravidian race appears to have been a fighting one in
soldiers. former days. Great honour was done to brave men, as is
shown by the number of carved memorial stones still to be seen
in the villages, erected to commemorate heroic deaths. In
Malabar, society is based upon the organization of the Nayars
as a military caste. The armies appear to have been very
large. In the sixteenth century a Portuguese chronicler'
describes the Vijayanagar king as leading over 700,000 men
into the field, and his government as based on military
service. Haidar All's army mostly consisted of Dravidians,
and in later years Telinglna gave its name to the first European-
trained sepoys, a name which has survived to our own day.
As In earlier times the inhabitants of the coast must also have
mariners. been bold mariners. The Buddhist Jatakas bear witness to
extensive sea-borne trade between the west coast ports and
Western Asia, including Babylon, as far back as the fifth
century D. c., while Vedic hymns testify to its existence in days
of still greater antiquity 2. When the Romans came in contact
with the Indian Peninsula in the first half-century after Christ,
they found a well-established trade carried on with the Persian
Gulf and Ceylon. Pliny (Bk. VI) states that the Indian vessels
trading with Ceylon were so large as to be able to carry 3,000
amphorae. On the east coast the coins of the Andhra dynasty
(roughly 200 B. C. to A.D. 250) confirm this, many of them
bearing the device of a two-masted ship, evidently of large size,
History
The As already stated, the aborigines of South India were, at a
earliest very early date, crushed by the Dravidians; and these, in
their turn, were afterwards subdued by Aryans from the
north, who seized on the old kingdoms and established
dynasties which lasted down to the fifteenth century A. D
The RamAyana mentions the Andhras of the Godavari and the
Krishna, the Pandyas of Mladura, the Ch6las of Tanjore, and
the Keralas or Cheras of the west coast; and these were also
known to the Greek geographers. Asoka (250 B. C.) sent his
missionaries to teach the Buddhist philosophy to the people.
He also sent emissaries for the same purpose to the Pulindas
x Nuniz. See A Forgotten Empire (Sewell), pp. 147 ff., 326-8, 373,
384-9.
i Biihler (Indian Palaeography, 5) summarizes the evidence. Also
Foulkes in Indian Antiquary, xvi (I887), p. 7.



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