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Ancient Literature

Ancient Indian literature can be broadly divided in to North and South. But there will be overlaps and may not be a perfect one. The earliest works of Indian literature were orally transmitted.
North or Sanskrit literature begins with the oral literature of the Rig Veda. Classical Sanskrit literature developed rapidly along with Tamil Sangam literature, and the Pāli Canon.

Northern Literature

Northern literature can be broadly classified as: Vedic; Epic and Classical Sanskrit; Prakrit and Pali literature

Southern (Dravidian or Tamil) Literature

Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition spanning more than 2000 years. Tolkaappiyam is the oldest work in Tamil available today. The secular nature of the early Sangam poetry gave way to works of religious and didactic nature during the Middle Ages. Tirukkural is a fine example of such work on human behaviour and political morals. Jain and Buddhist authors have contributed in a big way. During religious revival a great volume of literary output by Saivite and Vaishnavites have been produced.
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