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Merchants of Tamilakam: Pioneers of International Trade; The Story of Indian Business

Kanakalatha Mukund (Author)

The tale of the Tamil merchant is a fascinating story of the adventure of commercial intercourse in the ancient and early medieval period. Sangam poetry dating back 2,000 years gives us a vivid description of ports and cities bustling with traders and markets which leaves us wondering at the vigorous trade that evidently flourished between the Tamil region and Rome and the Mediterranean world to the west, and South-East Asia to the east.

The early medieval period takes us to a more complex polity dominated by the rise of powerful Tamil empires under the Pallava and Chola dynasties. The strengthening of the state apparatus was accompanied by the emergence of many administrative and representative institutions. In this larger landscape, merchants were key agents of growth and change.

Towering over the region, both literally and figuratively, the temple emerged as the central, definitive institution dominating social and economic life in the region known as Tamilakam. The interface between the temple, state, society and merchants is the major theme of this study.

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About the author

Kanakalatha Mukund

Kanakalatha Mukund is an economic historian, with a special interest in pre-industrial economic organization and social relation. She has taught at the Universities of Bombay and Bhopal. Till recently she was Fellow, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad. Mukund is the author of The Trading World of the Tamil Merchant: Evolution of Merchant Capitalism in the Coromandel and the co-author of Traditional Industry in the New Market Economy: The Cotton Handlooms of Andhra Pradesh.

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Bibliographic information

Title Merchants of Tamilakam: Pioneers of International Trade; The Story of Indian Business
Format Hardcover
Date published: 07.04.2012
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780670085217
length 240p.