Tamil is an immensely vast storehouse of proverbs. With its history dating to the early centuries of the Christian era, it has gathered in the course of its long evolution an enormous number of these wise sayings which constitute a form of folklore of infinite beauty, variety and elegance. Apart from being a rich source of the wisdom of the bygone ages, these edged tools of speech have always been used as stylistic adornments in rhetorical practice. The present work is a comprehensive collection of these proverbs. Since a mere translation of a real proverb will not in most cases bring the reader into contact with its homely meaning an attempt has been made in this volume to make the application of each proverb clear which facilitates the grasping of the real meaning. In addition to translation the work contains the English equivalents of the Tamil proverbs. The proverbs are classified under appropriate heads and not alphabetically. This arrangement, together with the index of the initial words, facilitates easy referencing. As a comprehensive collection of these proverbs, this volume is of inestimable value to all serious students of literature, philology, ethics, linguistics and social and cultural history.
Rev. Hermen Jensen (b. 1842) was Danish Missionary, who wrote A Practical Tamil Reading Book for European Beginners (Madras, 1882) and A classical Collection of Tamil Proverbs (London, 1897).
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