Sumerian Beginnings of Indian Cultural History
Dr K.Loganathan 2002
Dear John and Bala
You have some important questions and I will try to say something related to some of the questions raised. Overall I want to say that Sumerian IS Archaic Tamil and probably the prehistory of it is to be located in SEAsian countries including ancient India. Dr Winters claims Subsaharan origins and which cannot be ruled out. The Sumerotamil is directly relatable to the CaGkam culture of the Tamils in the S.India ( 800 B.C - 200 A.D) and that there must have been trade relationships between the Sumerian and some natives of S. India . When the Sumerians were sacked by the Gutians and other Semites around 2000 B.C or so, it may be possible that there was a large scale migration of SumeroTamils to S.India and who then composed the Rig Veda and so forth and finally a substantial number of them settled down in the South establishing the CaGkam Culture there. I suspect that they migrated into into both by land route and sea route.
Let me give some substance to these notions
Sumerian as Tamil from at least 3000 B.C.
One of the oldest Sumerian texts available is The Instructions of Suruppak ( Suruppak's NeRi) and a well preserved archaic text from the Abuu Salaabiikh and hence from about 2500 B.C. is known. Even at that early period the text was considered ancient and hence something that existed in oral form for several centuries at least. Thus we can assign a date somewhere close to 3000 B.C as the time the actual texts was composed This text with about 282 lines, is now being published online with Tamil commentary both in English and tamil and I give the following line to show its Tamil character.
61 . uru.tus lu-ka na-ab-ta-bal-e-de ( Do not transgress people's dwelling places)
62. si-du-un si-du-un si-me-si-ib-be-e-ne ( Go away! Go away! -- they will say to you
*Ta. uurutunjcu uLu-aka naa aabta paalyidee (" )
*celiduun celiuduu siimmee ceppiyinee (")
ஊருதுஞ்சு உளு.அக நா ஆப்த பால்யிடே
The words uru ( Ta. uuru: town, city ) tus ( Ta. tunjcu: to sleep) bal ( Ta. paal ; to cross over) e-de ( Ta. idu: todo, an auxilliary verb), si (Ta. cel: to go away) si-ib-be ( Ta. ceppu : to tell) ene ( Ta. inam: a collectivity, here plural marker)
Another sample from about 2200B.C.
These lines are taken from the famous philosopher-poet Enhudu Anna, said to be the eldest daughter of Sargon the Great.
From Kes Temple Hymns
14. e-kes mus-kalam-ma gu-hus-aratta ( Kes temple, foundation of the country, fierce ox of Aratta)
15. hur-sag-da-mu-a an-da gu-la-a ( growing up like a mountain, embracing the sky)
*Ta. il-kes mutu-kaLamma koo ushNa Arattaa (")
*Ta. kuRsen-odu muuu-a vaan-odu kulaa-a (" )
இல்கேசி முதுகளம்ம கோ உஷ்ண அரத்தா
e (Ta. il: house, koo-il: temple) kes ( Ta. keeci: a name for Siva), mus ( Ta. mutal : the foundation) kalam (Ta. kaLam: country, land) gu ( Ta. koo: bull, cow); hus ( Ta. ushNa, ukkira: intense heat, fierce); hur-sag ( Ta. kunRu-senni: the peak) mu (Ta. muuu. muuL, muLai : to sprout, move forward) an ( vaan:sky) du ( Ta.odu: committative case marker), gu-la (Ta. kulaavu: to jostle and interact) . The -a here is the cuddu Ta. a that also functions as the genitive case marker.
From Exaltations of Inanna ( Siirbiyam)
44. ka-gal-a-be de mu-ni-in-dal ( Its grand entrance you have reduced to ashes)
*Ta. kaakaLLabee tii munnin taL ( Its grand gate (you) have thrown into fire)
காய்கள்ளப்பே தீ முன்னின் தள்
ka ( Ta. katavu: entrance) . Also kaay> vaay: mouth, vaayil: entrance. gal-a ( Ta kaLLa: grand , great) The -a here is the adjectival formant even as it is now. de (Ta. tii: fire) mu-ni-in (Ta. munnin: infront); dal (Ta. taL: to push)
Sample from 2000 B.C.
The following lines are taken from Sulgi's Hymn B (mutarIbiyam), the last great King of the Ur III dynasty
3. Sul-gi lugal Uri-ma-ke ( Sulgi's , the King of Ur)
4. a-na za-mi-bi-im kalag-ga-na sir-bi-im ( This is the song of his power, this is the hymn of his valour)
5. gal-an-zu nig sag-bi-se e-a-na mu-da-ri-bi-im (Of the wise , in all things foremeost, this is the lasting record.
*Ta. Sulgi uLukaL uurimmakee (")
*Ta. aal-aana saamipiyam kalaGkanna siirbiyam (")
*Ta. kalan cuuz mika senbiceey eeyanna mutariibiyam (")
சூல்கி உளுகள் ஊரிம்மக்கே
The Tamil character is so obvious that a detailed consideration may not be necessary ( already provided and available in the SumeroTamil Campus). I can also from sample from the Old Babylonian Period ( ~ 1800 B.C.) and even later from the Incantations such as Udug Hul , Er Semma and so forth
What we have here is a thousand year old history , sample of sentences very very Tamil in lexicon grammar and semantics but of course Archaic where we see the beginnings of features that became well established later.
The Language of Rig Veda and Purusha Suktam.
From about 2000 B.C large scale migration of the SumeroTamils to different parts of the world and especially to India must have begun. The SumeroTamil evolved into the Rigkrit, the language of Rig Veda , Purusha Suktam and so forth. While one line of development led to the evolution of Sanskrit perhaps from among the Prakrit varieties the Tamil of Cagkam must have evolved directly as a linear development just like Modern Tamil is a linear development of CaGkam Tamil.
I provide below the analysis of Rig Veda Hymn 1-1 where I draw similarities with the SumeroTamil
Agnim iile purohitam yajjnasya devam ritvijam / hotaram ratnadhaatamam
We worship the adorable God, the high priest of cosmic activities, the divine , the one who works through the eternal laws, and who feeds and sustains all that is divine and luminous.
agnim: the foremost leader, makes everything part of himself, drying agent; (Day) : Supreme Lord who is venerable adorable , is available everywhere etc. Also master of tejas, brilliance etc.; (aro) fiery light , mystic fire; God-will
iile : to worship, to adore, to love, to embrace, to praise , and even to desire and yearn for
I shall take this phrase as " agnim ellee " meaning " that Brilliant Light which makes everything"
From the Sumerian sources we have some parallel phrases:
ugnim : warriors , army where 'ug" is to kill , dry up as in Ta. ukku , to decay, dry up , die etc. The Ta. ukra meaning extremely hot as well as very aggressive seems to be also a derivative of this. The Sk. agnim appears to be a variant of this same concept.
99. sir-ku-ga-ke-es i-ug-ge-de-es ( At( the sound of ) my sacred song they are ready to die
* Ta. ciir kokakee-isu ii ukkidu-isu ( ")
46. ugnim-bi ni-bi-a ma-ra- ab-si-il-e ( It disbands its regiments before you of its own accord)
* Ta. ukkunam-bi niibiya maa(nRa) ab cillee ( The band of warriors disband themselves on your behave on their own accord)
Sk iilee Ta. ellu
This term 'ellu" is given as the Akkadian equivalent to Su. ku : meaning light but certainly a borrowing from Sumerian as it can be taken as a variant of Su. ri and Ta. eri: fire light etc. eri> eli> ellu : day , day light. The Ta. koo as in kooL means the same . This may be a variant of Su. su Ta. cuu, coo as in cudar, cooti etc.
Collectively then 'agnim illee" can mean " the brilliant light that dries up and kills"
Su. ag , Ta. aaku, aakku and Sk ag
Another possibility is to take 'agnim' as it is and equate 'ag' with Su. ag and Ta. aaku, aakku with 'nim' as an ancient variant of Ta. nam that exists in Su. as nii , corresponding Ta. nii: you, the person. In such usage as Su. nin (sister, lady ) nin-a ( the Great Woman, the Mother Goddess) we have 'nii" simply as tall, lofty, high standing etc. We have also 'nim-se" meaning the higher grounds, the hilly area where the 'nim' here corresponds to Ta. nim, nivar and perhaps also nil: to stand erect and tall.
Thus with this sense we will have "agnim iile" as meaning" the Brilliant Light that is productive of all"
Purohitam and Ta. puroocu, pruootayam etc.
We have a similar occurrence below in Appar Teevaram (naam aarkkung kudiyalloom) niiraanda purootayam aadap peRRoom where 'purootayam' is derived as puur-utayam meaning early day break. However "puur" here seems to mean Ta. puurvam , the ancient or very early. However we have Su. pur, par as in 'gi-par" ( gi=mi pura: dark chamber) where corresponding to it we have Ta. puram, puri etc. meaning the castle , a shelter . Thus purohitam may actually be "pur-uu-ki-dam " literaly lighting up (uu) the dark chamber of the temple ( pur, gi-par) where 'dam' as a noun formative is also frequent in Sumerian. Perhaps originally it meant the temple priest who lights up the inner and dark chamber and later in a metaphorical vein extended to BEING as LIGHT who lights up the whole universe.
Yajnasya and Su. ejen
The word for fire in Su. iji, eji is also rendered as ejen that also means celebrations, festival etc. The grammatical particle 'asya" exists also in such phrases as
mi-zi me-lam gur-ru ki-aga -an -uras-a ( Righteous woman, beloved of Heaven and Earth).
We can analyze ' an-uras-a" as 'aan uur-asya" or Ta. vaan uurasya , vaan uurattiya where the infix 'as" has become the sound filler "attu' in Tamil. While Su. ejen is obsolete in Tamil it is retained as yajna in Sk in the sense of a ritual of fire though originally it meant also "festival" in general.
Devam and Su. dinger.
I have already pointed out we have Ta. teyvam and Sk deva from Su. dingir ( > dimmer Ak diwer> Sk deva, Ta. teyvam , teevan etc.)
ritvijam and Ta. uru-bi-jam
The Sk rit can also be related to Su. ri, eri but in the sense of Ta. uru : form shape structure color light etc. As a verb it means 'to make, bring into being' etc. The "vi-jam" can be equated with Su. bi-ji-am where 'bi ' corresponds to Ta. paa, or Ta. piiy : to break forth, to pour out etc. Thus "ritvijam" can mean "that which brings forth various kinds of things in the world.
hotaram and Ta. uu-taaram
The 'taram' as meaning the Ta. taru: to give, exists in Su. as well as in "nam-dug-tar-ra-me-en" ( Sulgi Hymn B, 12) and in many other places where it occurs just as 'tar-ra" to give " etc. The 'hoo" can be taken as a variant of Ta. uu : to rise up and from which we have Ta. uuN, uNaa, uNavu etc. originally simply plants but later 'food', the sense in which 'ho" occurs here. Thus 'hotaram' as Ta. uu-taaram is that which forwards food.
This word can be derived from Su. ra (ri-a) : to shine forth as Su sud-ra : coming from the high or shining from the high or distance. Thus ratnam (Ta. irattinam) would mean precious stones that sparkle. The word "tamam" may be a variant of Su. dumu : a child which itself may be a derivative from dam-u , what a woman brings forth. Thus 'ratna-dhatu-tamam" may mean "that which brings forth brilliant stones that are precious"
We can reconstruct the Tamil version as follows (just as an aid)
*Ta. aaknim ellee yajnasya teyvam urutubiijam/ uu-taaram iratntaatu tamam
Thus collectively we can render the meaning as follows:
Homage to that Brilliant Light that is productive of all, that Deity which brings joy to all during the festivals of Light and provides food and material riches in the form of precious stones.
The complete analysis of the first two hymns and mahor part of Purusha Suktam are available in the VedicTamil Campus . Of course all these go counter to the established views where Sanskrit is taken Indo European and so forth and thus made to belong to a language family different from Tamil and this more to establish the Aryan origin of Hindu Culture more than anything else.
Any way we can see that Tamil from its Sumerian beginnings, has a continuous though torturous history and that it is an archaic form of it that served as the substratum for the evolution of the socalled IndoAryan languages including Sanskrit in India.
You also mention the following:
Your quest will be subject to intellectual harrassment as well by
How true you are ! I have suffered a lot of intellectual harassment , even continue to suffer now and for which reason I do not seek grants from anybody. While I was enjoying a good salary I collected all my basic texts and now retired spend my time polishing my notes and making new studies as well.
Here I must mention how important the INTERNET has been and how the unflinching support of Bala Pillai has been in this struggle. Through Tamil.Net meykandar and lately Akandabaratam egroups , I have been able to publish my ideas and communicate them to the Tamils and others all over the world.
In all these there was and is just one thing that kept me struggling: the believe that I am in TRUTH and that Satyam Eva Jayate ( The TRUTH will finally triumph)
In a message dated 6/15/02 4:03:31 AM Central Daylight Time, email@example.com
One of the great unsolved mysteries of the Sumerians and their language
Sumerian is older than Akkadian, evidence goes at least as far back as
My speculation is that Akkadian was spoken by the desert nomads and
My speculation is based upon my reading of the published histories I have
If you are going to identify a link between Sumeria, this is the kind of
1. Do Sumerian and Tamil or Dravidian show signs of having a
2. Is Sumerian a mother language,.like Latin, to many other languages,
A. Did refugees from Ur III's collapse escape to India to found a
B. Were there trading colonies on the coast of India established by
C. Did a native Indian kingdom with a port on the coast invite a
growth of its economy by introducing much needed skills in
D. Is there any evidence of a coastal city appearing suddenly as a
3. Can mtDNA studies isolate Sumerian from Semitic genetic lines in
I am afraid that I can do little more than provide you with possible
Your quest will be subject to intellectual harrassment as well by
If you are still willing to pursue the quest, you will need to assemble
At some point Sadaam Hussein will be gone from Iraq and you will be able
I have gone on and on but now at least you have the perspective of an
I was hoping that I would find this kind of discussion when I first
Best Regards, John