அகமுடையர் ஆடிமகிழ!

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Old Tamil literature contains several references to akam in the sense of ‘fort, palace or inner place’. (e.g.) akam ‘palace (Perun^.32.100), aka-nakar ‘the inner city’ (Cil. 2.15.109; Man@i. 1.72), aka-p-pa ‘inner fortification’ (Nar\. 14.4; Patir\.22.26; Cil.28.144), aka-p-pa ‘matil-ul| uyar met|ai : high terrace inside the fort’ (Tivakaram 5.198), matil-akam, ‘fortified house’; (Cil.2.14.69); the palace of the rulers of Kerala.

A clear distinction is drawn in Old Tamil literature between those who ruled from inside the forts and those who served them, even though the expressions for either group have the same base aka-tt-u ‘in the house’.

The rulers of the forts were known as: (e.g.) aka-tt-a ‘ (princes) of the palace’ (Kali. 25.3), aka-tt-ar ‘ those inside the (impregnable) fortification’ (Kural| 745), aka-tt-or ‘ those inside the fort’ (Pura. 28.11), aka-tt-on\ ‘ he (king) inside the fort’ (Tol. III: 68.4, 69.5)

Those who served as palace or temple attendants were known as follows: (e.g.) aka-tt-at|imai , aka-t-ton@t|ar, aka-mp-at|iyar etc., (Tamil Lexicon).

The akampatiyar mentioned above can be traced existence to a single clan among the Mukkulathors, who go commonly by the title “servai”, which again is a derivative of an earlier form i.e. servaikarar. The Servaikarars were people who were of service to the King, in war and as guards of the forts. sEvai is a Tamil word, widely used today.

Did I hit a note? Apparently, the word service roots back to the Latin word servus which originally meant slave. It’s first usage in English happened only in the mid 16th century. Latin, has loaned many words from Tamil. I wouldn’t be suprised if brave Tamil Servaikarars served as soldiers in the Latin world!

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2 responses »

  1. Ok Going by the common title servai – what about the numerous title that pervails in the Agamudiyar clan who are this people and what is affinity ? castes like muthiriyar and in few places the vanniyars use servai titles and the E Kallars call them agamudiyar’s this is what is confusing and the agamudiyars of north tamilnadu consider them as a seperate division are they a seprate group or one among Agamudyar with a different title,

    rgds

  2. Dear Friend,

    In My opinion that the title “Servai of the Agamudyar could have been derived from the word Seralan (“cheran ” since the historical past of the agamudyar are mostly associated with the chera’s ) later become servaikaran – servai (services) this could even suggest the military service rather, we all know the parental title of the mardhu brothers are “Udayar his father name is “Udyar Palaniappa Servai” which suggest that in due courses the word serlan = servai had become a title of the Agamudyar, there are numerous Medieval inscription available to show the titles of the Agamudayar are “Udyar(n), Mudali, Devar and in few places as Pillai but there is not even one single inscription that calls the Agamudyar as “Servai,

    It is highly possible that these Agamudyar could have been the rulers themselves in the case of Raja Raja Cholan he is been referred as Udyar, thevar the only clan that has both the surnames used is “Agamudayar ,

    Scores of Chola inscription proves that the Agamudayar were in possession of top posts,

    So it will be really imprudent to call the “Agamudayar as a mere service person.

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