Test: The Sangam Age - 1


20 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | Test: The Sangam Age - 1


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QUESTION: 1

Match the following:

Solution:

The title Manimekalai is also the name of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi, who follows in her mother's footsteps as a dancer and a Buddhist nun (bhikuni). The epic tells her story. Her physical beauty and artistic achievements seduces the Chola prince Udhayakumara. He pursues her.
The Silappathikaram tells of the young merchant Kovalan's marriage to the virtuous Kannaki (Kannagi), his love for the courtesan Matavi, and his consequent ruin and exile in Maturai, where he is unjustly executed after trying to sell his wife's anklet to a wicked goldsmith who had stolen the queen's anklet and charged.
The hero (Kovalan) is long dead and the heroine (Kannaki) follows him shortly thereafter into heaven.
While Kannagi has been deified, Swarnmalya found it difficult to accept the image of Madhavi in the society as a mere dancer who played a pivotal role in the separation of Kovalan and Kannagi.
The title Manimekalai is also the name of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi, who follows in her mother's footsteps as a dancer and a Buddhist nun (bhikuni). The epic tells her story.
Hence, the correct answer is Option B.
 

QUESTION: 2

What was the script used in the earliest Tamil inscriptions?

Solution:

The earliest deciphered epigraphic inscriptions of significant length are the Edicts of Ashoka of the 3rd century BCE, written in forms of Prakrit in the Brahmi script. Jain inscriptions in South India written in Tamil-Brahmi, Bhattiprolu alphabet and the Kadamba alphabet are also of relatively early date.

QUESTION: 3

The external trade of the Sangam people was carried on mainly with the

Solution:

The Romans began to arrive in the Tamil country. The Pandyan kingdom was the first to get the benefit of the Roman trade. The Romans had employed the Tarn ii merchants to buy and sell goods in the local market. They had also served in the Pandyan army. In the First and Second centuries A,D,, both the Greeks and Romans expanded their trade in the Tamil country. After that period, there was a gradual decline in the overseas trade. The confusion in the Roman Empire and the collapse of the Sangam age in the Third century A.D. put an end to the Greek and Roman contacts with the Tamil country.

QUESTION: 4

The city of Puhar was founded by

Solution:

It was founded by Chola King Karikala Puhar served as the capital of the early Chola kings. Karikala was a Tamil Chola king who ruled southern India. He is attributed to the conquest of the whole of India up to the Himalayas and the construction of the flood banks of the river Kaveri.

QUESTION: 5

To which dynasty did Senguttuvan belong?

Solution:

He has been recorded as the first King of the Cheras. Following his defeat with Cholas, he had committed suicide.

Senguttuvan was the most illustrious ruler of the Dynasty. He was the hero of famous Tamil Epic Silapathikaram. He had sent first embassy to China from South India. Karur was his capital. His navy was the best in the world.

QUESTION: 6

Korkai was the coastal capital of the

Solution:

The Pandya country, as per the traditions extended from the Podukottai district to Kanyakumari in south and Achankovil River in Kerala (west) to River Vegai (Madura) in East. The kingdom was ordinarily divided into 5 principalities which were known as “Five Pandyas“. The early days capital of Pandyas is Korkai.

QUESTION: 7

The leading lady of Silappadikaram belonged to the

Solution:

The Silappadikaram is a Tamil epic that is speculated to have been composed around the fourth to sixth century AD (Zvelebil 178).

Kannaki – the heroine and central character of the epic; she is the simple, quiet, patient and faithful housewife fully dedicated to her unfaithful husband in book 1; who transforms into a passionate, heroic, rage-driven revenge seeker of injustice in book 2; then becomes a goddess that inspires Chera people to build her temple, invade, fight wars to get a stone from the Himalaya, make a statue of Kannaki and begin the worship of goddess Pattini.

Kovalan - husband of Kannaki, son of a wealthy charitable kind merchant in the seaport capital city of early Chola kingdom at Poomphuhar;

QUESTION: 8

Consider the following statements regarding the Sangam age.

It is noticeable for
I. The use of iron
II. Its association with megaliths.
III. The use of black and red ware
IV. The penetration of Mauryan influence into South India

Solution:

Archaeologically, the Tamil Sangam era corresponds roughly to the late Iron Age-Early Historic period (c. 300 b.c. to a.d. 300), which represents a key stage in the development of South Indian material culture.
Megaliths are very large stones found at most sites of burial from the Sangam Age. The said structure was box-like and was constructed by arranging stone slabs without the application of mortar. Sometimes, the builder would cut an opening into one of the slabs. These structures are also known as memorial stones.

QUESTION: 9

The earliest Tamil literature is termed as Sangam literature, because it was

Solution:

The correct answer is C as The earliest Tamil literature is termed as Sangam literature, because it was Standardized by an academy (sangam) of scholars and poets maintained by Pandya rulers at Madurai.

QUESTION: 10

Which one of the following statements regarding Sangam age is NOT correct?

Solution:

Those were Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyas who patronised the scholars of different branches of literature. The earliest ruler of Chera kingdom, Udayan Cheraladana was a great warrior who defeated the Satavahanas. Kadalapirakottiya Chenkuttuvan was the greatest Chera king who patronised the Sangam literature. The next patrons of the Sangam literature were the Cholas. The greatest Chola king Karikalan Chola encourged the Sangam literature. Under his leadership the Cholas became the leading power of the south. He defeated Cheras and Pandyas. He is equally credited for promoting art, industry and trade.

QUESTION: 11

What is the name of the Chola king who defeated the Pandya and Chera kings in the famous battle of Venni?

Solution:

The most famous king of early Cholas is Karikala Chola. He ruled around 270 BC. He had won the famous battle of Venni in which he decisively defeated Pandyas and Cheras. He is also believed to have won the whole of Ceylon.

QUESTION: 12

Which one of the following statements on the Cholas is NOT correct?

Solution:

Kandyan Kingdom falling into the hands of the British Empire and deposing of king Sri Vikrama Rajasingha started the history of British CeylonIt ended over 2300 years of Sinhalese monarchy rule on the island. The British rule on the island lasted until 1948 when the country gained independence.

QUESTION: 13

Which one of the following statements on the Cheras is NOT correct?

Solution:

The second king of the Chera Dynasty was Imayavaramban Nedum Cheralatan , who died in a battle with Chola Kings. The next important ruler was Senguttuvan, who is hero of a famous Tamil Epic Silapathikaram. Senguttuvan is best known for sending the first embassy to China from South India. His capital was Karur.

QUESTION: 14

Which one of the following statements on the social life in the Sangam era is NOT correct?

Solution:

During the Sangam age,
The status of women was not high. The widows had to cut off their hair, discard all ornaments and eat only the plainest food.
Civil and military offices were held by the rich peasants called Velalas.
The caste division and the tribal arrangement co-existed the appearance of the Brahmanas as a regular Varna.

QUESTION: 15

Which one of the following statements on Sangam literature is NOT correct?

Solution:

Sangam literature is one of the main sources used for documenting the early history of the ancient Tamil country. The ancient Sangam poems mention numerous kings and princes, the existence of some of whom have been confirmed through archaeological evidence.

QUESTION: 16

Which one of the following statements regarding Sangam age is NOT correct?

Solution:

Sangam literature arose in distant antiquity over three periods, each stretching over many millennia. The first has roots in the Hindu deity Shiva, his son Murugan, Kubera as well as 545 sages including the famed Rigvedic poet Agastya. 

QUESTION: 17

Which one of the following statements on the Sangam literature is NOT correct?

Solution:

Sangam literature is the name given to the earliest available Tamil literature. It is dated between 400 BCE and 300 CE, although most of the work is believed to have been composed between 100 CE and 250 CE. The word 'Sangam' literally means association.
The three Sangams
1. Madurai.
2. Kapadapuram.
3. Madurai.
 

QUESTION: 18

Which of the following works of the Sangam age is considered to be the greatest literary works of ancient Tamil literature?

Solution:

None of the original works of the first Sangam are available. The most memorable work of the second Sangam was Tolkappiyam. This great grammatical work is encyclopaedic in range and has been annotated by many scholars. It is divided into three volumes, edited and written by Tolkpiar.
The third Sangam included many scholars and their works. The principal works of the third Sangam played an important role in the socio-cultural life of the people. These works constitute the greatest elements in the Tamil literature. The memorable works of that period are Patthupattu, (Ten Idylls or poetries), Ettuthokai (The eight Anthologies), Padinenkilkanakkyu (The Eight Minor Didactic Poems), the Rural and Jivaka Chintamani etc.

QUESTION: 19

Which of the following statements about the manram, the Sabha of this period, is NOT correct?

Solution:
QUESTION: 20

What are the major epics of the Sangam age?

Solution:

The particular names of the Five Tamil Epics or Aimperumkappiyam of the Sangam Age of Tamil Literature are first mentioned in Thiruthanikaiula, a work of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. These are:
1. Silappatikaram
2. Manimegalai
3. Civaka Cintamani
4. Kundalakesi
5. Valayapathi

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