The Purananuru (Tamil: புறநானூறு, Puṟanāṉūṟu, literally "four hundred [poems] in the genre puram"), sometimes called Puram or Purappattu, is a classical Tamil poetic work and traditionally the last of the Eight Anthologies (Ettuthokai) in the Sangam literature. It is a collection of 400 heroic poems about kings, wars and public life, of which two are lost and a few have survived into the modern age in fragments. The collected poems were composed by 157 poets, of which 14 are anonymous and at least 10 were women. This anthology has been variously dated between 1st century BCE and 5th century CE, with Kamil Zvelebil, a Tamil literature scholar, dating predominantly all of the poems of Purananuru sometime between 2nd and 5th century CE. Nevertheless, few poems are dated to the period of 1st century BCE.The Purananuru anthology is diverse. Of its 400 poems, 138 praise 43 kings – 18 from the Chera dynasty (present day Kerala), 13 Chola dynasty kings, and 12 Early Pandya dynasty kings. Another 141 poems praise 48 chieftains. These panegyric poems recite their heroic deeds, as well as another 109 poems that recount deeds of anonymous heroes, likely of older Tamil oral tradition. Some of the poems are gnomic in nature, which have attracted unrealistic attempts to read an ethical message, states Zvelebil. The poetry largely focuses on war, means of war such as horses, heroic deeds, widowhood, hardships, impermanence, and other effects of wars between kingdoms based along the rivers Kaveri, Periyar and Vaigai.The Purananuru is the most important Tamil corpus of Sangam era courtly poems, and it has been a source of information on the political and social history of ancient Tamil Nadu. According to Hart and Heifetz, the Purananuru provides a view of the Tamil society before large scale Indo-Aryan influences affected it. The life of the Tamils of this era revolved around the king, emphasized the purity of women and placed limitations of the rights of widows. Further, the compilation suggests that the ancient Tamils had a caste system called kuti. The anthology is almost entirely a secular treatise on the ancient Tamil thought on kingship, the constant state of wars within old Tamil speaking regions, the bravery of heroes and the ferocious nature of this violence. According to Amritha Shenoy, the Purananuru poems eulogize war and describe "loyalty, courage, honor" as the virtues of warriors. In contrast, Sivaraja Pillai cautions that the historical and literary value of Purananuru poems may be limited because the poems were not a perfect work of art but one of compulsion from impoverished poets too eager to praise one king or another, seeking patrons through exaggeration and flattery rather than objectivity.The Purananuru poems use words, phrases, and metaphors, including references to the Himalayas of "immeasurable heights", Shiva, Vishnu, the four Vedas, the Ramayana, rivers, and other aspects.