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!