Natives of Kerala, known as Malayalis, refer to their land as Keralam. Scholars agree, that Kerala is the word of the Classical Tamil Cheralam ("Land of theCheras") or chera-alam ("declivity of a hill or a mountain slope/range"). The country was anciently called Cheralam and Cherala Nadu. A 3rd-century-BC rock inscription by emperor Asoka the Great references Kerala as Keralaputra. Similarly, the Roman trade map Periplus Maris Erythraei references the Cheraterritory as Cerobothra.