Thiruvalluvar, commonly known as Valluvar, was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known for authoring the Thirukkuṛaḷ, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economical matters, and love. The text is considered the greatest work of the Tamil literature and one of the finest works on ethics and morality.
Much of the information about Valluvar comes from legendary accounts, and little is known with certainty about his family background, religious affiliation, or birthplace. He is believed to have lived in Madurai and later in the town of Mylapore (a neighbourhood of the present-day Chennai), and his floruit is dated variously from 4th century BCE to 5th century CE, based on the traditional accounts and the linguistic analyses of his writings. Maraimalai Adigal gives 31 BCE as the birth year of Valluvar.
Valluvar has influenced a wide range of scholars down the ages since his time across the ethical, social, political, economical, religious, philosophical, and spiritual spheres. Because the life, culture and ethics of the Tamils are considered to be solely defined in terms of the values set by the Kural literature, the government and the people of Tamil land alike venerate Valluvar and his work with utmost reverence. He is known by numerous honorific designations, such as Saint, First Poet, Divine Poet, Brahma, and Great Scholar.