|Topics in Sangam literature|
|Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu||Iṉiyavai Nāṟpatu|
|Kār Nāṟpatu||Kaḷavaḻi Nāṟpatu|
|Aintiṇai Aimpatu||Tiṉaimoḻi Aimpatu|
|Aintinai Eḻupatu||Tiṉaimoḻi Nūṟṟu Aimpatu|
|Tamil history from Sangam literature||Tamil literature|
|Ancient Tamil music||Sangam society|
Akananuru (Tamil: அகநானுறு), a classical Tamil poetic work, is the seventh book in the secular anthology of Sangam literature (600 BCE - 300 CE), namely Ettuthokai. The secular anthology is entirely unique in Indian literature, which are almost religious during the era. It contains 400 Akam (subjective) poems dealing with matters of love and separation. Other names for Akananuru include Neduntogai or Nedunthokai ("the long anthology"), Ahappattu, Ahananuru, and Agananuru.
As many as 145 poets are said to have contributed to Akananuru collection. Perunthevanaar, who translated the Mahabharatham into Tamil, is one of the authors. Rudrasarman compiled this anthology at the behest of the Pandya king Ukkiraperuvazhuthi.
It is highly likely that the poems in Akananuru collection were prevalent independently before they were collected and categorized in this present form. The anthology is dated to around the first and the second century C.E. The poems probably are of a much earlier date. At least few poems must belong to 5th century BC to 3rd BC depending on the structure of poems. There were mentions of Nanda and Mauryas in few poems, which eventually date these poems to 4th to 3rd centuries BC.
This book comes under the Akam (subjective) category in its subject matter. Ancient Tamil poems was categorised into the broad categories of Akam(அகம்) - Subjective, dealing with matters of the heart and human emotions, and Puram (புறம்) - Objective, dealing with the tangibles of life such as war, politics, wealth, etc. The poems of this anthology are of the Akaval meter.
In the poems on Akam, the aspects of love of a hero and a heroine are depicted. The story of love is never conceived as a continuous whole. A particular moment of love is captured and described in each poem as the speech of the hero or the lady-companion or somebody else. A young man leading a peaceful life of love and affection with his wife is referred as "A bird with two heads and one soul". Women are always referred as Mangala Mahilar, Melliyal Mahalir, Seyelai Mahalir and Manaiyal - all of these indicating the soft characterization and glorifying the house hold presence of women folk during the Sangam period. The auspicious time of wedding was considered to be the harvest season. A high standard of moral virtue seems to have prevailed among women of household.
Akananuru contains 401 stanzas and is divided into three sections
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