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Kavirajamarga (Kannada: ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ) (850 C.E.) is the earliest available writing on rhetoric, poetics and grammar in the Kannada language.[1][2] It was written by the famous Rashtrakuta King "Nripatunga" Amoghavarsha I and some say that it is based partly on an earlier Sanskrit writing, Kavyadarsa. Some historians believe it may have been co-authored by a poet of the king's court, the Kannada language theorist, Sri Vijaya.[3][1] The name means literally "Royal Path for Poets" and was used as a guide book for poets and scholars (Kavishiksha). From references made in this writing to earlier Kannada poetry and literature it is clear that a considerable body of work in prose and poetry must have existed in the preceding centuries.[4] A Stanza from Kavirajamarga in Kannada which praises the people for their literary skills Contents 1 Biography 1.1 Early writers and literary styles 2 Notes 3 References Biography The pre-coronation name of Amoghavarsha I was Sharva. He was born in Sribhavan in 800 to Rashtrakuta King Govinda III during the king's return from his successful northern campaigns in Kanauj. This is known from the Manne records (803), Sirur plates and Sanjan records (871) of Amoghavarsha I.[5][6] Amoghavarsha I came to the throne in 814 at the age of 14 and took great interest in the Kannada language, culture, country and its people, and his writing Kavirajamarga goes into these details as well.[7] The work describes the entire region between the Godavari river in the north and Kaveri river in the south as "Kannada country", which includes large territories in the north where now Marathi is spoken.[4] Early writers and literary styles Kavirajamarga makes important references not only to earlier Kannada writers and poets but also to early literary styles in vogue in the various written dialects of Kannada language. The aim of his writing was to standardise these written styles.[8] The king mentions two styles of composition, the Bedande and the Chattana, and indicates that these styles were recognised by "earlier writers".[9] Amoghavarsha I mentions several early Kannada writers who preceded him: Vimalachandra (777), Udaya, Nagarjuna, Jayabhandu and 6th century King Durvinita of the Western Ganga Dynasty as the best writers of Kannada prose; Srivijaya, Kavisvara, Pandita, Chandra and Lokapala as the best writers of Kannada poetry.[2] But the works and compositions of these early authors are yet to be discovered. Kavirajamarga was formative in the literary growth of Kannada and is a guide book to the Kannada grammar that existed in that period. It laid the royal road of guiding many aspiring writers. In his criticism, Amoghavarsha I mentions that old Kannada is appropriate in ancient poems but is insipid in works of the present time like an "association with an old woman". According to him, a mixture of Kannada with Sanskrit is harsh to the ear but a mixture of Kannada and Sama-Samskrita is pleasant to the ear like music, while a mixture of Kannada and Sanskrit in compounds is disagreeable like mixing drops of buttermilk (curdled milk) and boiling milk. He also condemned the usage of expletives such as ante, matte, and Gadam, etc.[9] Notes ^ a b Kamath (2001), p90 ^ a b Narasimhacharya (1988), p2 ^ Sastri (1955), pp355-356 ^ a b Sastri (1955), p355 ^ Kamath (2001), p77 ^ Reu (1933), p67 ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p17 ^ Kamat,Jyotsna. "Kannada Literature under the Rashtrakutas". The Rashtrakutas. Kamat's Potpourri. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/deccan/rashtrakutas/literature_kannada.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-03.  ^ a b Narasimhacharya (1988), p12 References Sastri, Nilakanta K.A. (2002) [1955]. A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.  Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) [1980]. A concise history of Karnataka : from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. OCLC 7796041. LCCN 809-5179.  Narasimhacharya, R (1988) [1988]. History of Kannada Literature. New Delhi, Madras: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0303-6.  Reu, Pandit Bisheshwar Nath (1997) [1933]. History of the Rashtrakutas (Rathodas). Jaipur: Publication Scheme. ISBN 81-86782-12-5.  Kamat, Jyotsna. "The Rashtrakutas". Dynasties of the Deccan. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/deccan/deckings.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-03.  Kamat, Jyotsna. "Kannada Literature under the Rashtrakutas". The Rashtrakutas. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/deccan/rashtrakutas/literature_kannada.htm. 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