Most medieval dynasties combined elements of imperialism, regionalism,
 and localism. Many expanded like empires. All formed regions of
 competition and overlapping sovereignty. Early dynasties thrived on local
 support from core constituencies. Tamil Nadu elucidates the kind of
 shifting cultural territory they formed.
     • Beginning in the sixth century and running through the
         seventeenth, overlapping sovereignties among Pallava, Chola,
         Pandya, Chera, Vijayanagar and Nayaka dynasties described a
         broadly shared Tamil language and textual geography of territorial
         authority that extended into the adjacent regions in Karnataka,
         Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and northern Sri Lanka.
     • The largest dynasty to embrace the Tamil territory arose at
         Vijayanagar, in Karnataka, in the fourteenth century, and featured
         rulers who spoke Telugu and Kannada.
     • All the dynasties that ruled Tamil-speaking people were attached
         primarily to localities in their own home regions. Inscriptions from
         the Pandya country (around Madurai) treat Chola conquests as
         imperial domination and Chola inscriptions in Tanjavur treat
         Pandya conquests the same way. In medieval terms, Chola and
         Pandya kings ruled separate countries that were defined by
         personal loyalties rather than by territorial boundaries.
     • The most resilient medieval early territory was called a nadu and
         included a small circle of villages. There were thirty nadus south
         of Madurai, in the Pandya country alone. A medieval nadu was a
         local domain around which were woven extensive networks of
         personal loyalty and alliance. However, local domains were
         defined in wider networks of culture, as revealed by the fact that
         the term nadu appears all across overlapping domains of
         sovereignty that encompassed the present-day Tamil Nadu.
South Indian and Deccan Warrior Dynasties
As the first millennium of the Christian era gave way to the second, the
contours of political geography shifted substantially. In the peninsula, after
Chola imperial expansion reached        its limit, the weight of dynastic power