This anthology contains 2,381 poems including the ten larger works belonging to the Pattupattu collection. These poems are attributed to 473 poets. 102 of the poems are anonymous. Sixteen of the 473 poets are responsible for 1,177 of the 2,279 poems for which the name of the author is known.
There is no information available on when these poems were collected or on the identity of the anthologist. These poems as we have them today have passed through four stages of evolution. The poems were created by the bardic authors between 100 BCE and 200 CE. The poems were collected into the various anthologies, colophones were added and the poems classified into various thinais around the eighth century CE. Still later the invocatory poems were added to the collection. Finally around the tenth century CE commetaries were written. The whole process lasted many centuries. As these poems have no internal safeguard to preserve them intact, they probably have gone through some changes over these centuries.