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Does anyone know the history of Gypsies?

I heard some really horrible things about gypsies and I wanted to know more, because I don't think they were all the same. I'm just curious.....


I need to know more... like what they did & how they lived.

Update 2:

I heard they were child molestors and murderers, thieves and prostitutes. I never knew this about them There has to be more to it. I am curious....

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Early History

    The Gypsies are a close-knit communal people who have a shared background, but are scattered throughout the world. Their origins have been the subject of controversy throughout the centuries, but in modern times, we have discovered, from research into their language, that the gypsies originated in Northern India, from whence they spread throughout Europe and the Middle East. No one knows when the first gypsies left India or, indeed, why.

    They seem to have arrived in the Middle East about 1000 AD, some going on into North Africa and others on into Europe. They were an intelligent people, used to living on their wits, who found it easy to impress the uneducated locals by giving themselves unwarranted titles and assuming the importance to go with them. Hence they arrived in Europe as Lords, Dukes, Counts and Earls of Little Egypt, demanding and receiving help and support from those in authority. Claiming that they had been ejected from their homeland, 'Little Egypt', by the wicked Saracens, or that they were on a pilgrimage, gained them succour from no less than the Pope himself, who demanded that they be given safe passage in the countries over which he had sway. So they were able to travel in relative safety, and could expect food and lodging from religious houses, as the rich of the time felt that it would assist their standing in the eyes of the church if they supported pilgrims. Having been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land was the ultimate status symbol, but supporting those who had been on one, or were taking part in one was the next best thing. So with their quick wits and silver tongues they were soon under the protection of Kings throughout Europe.

    We know for sure that a group of four hundred arrived in Germany, at Luneberg, in 1417. Their leaders, the 'Dukes' Andrew and Michael, along with sundry 'Counts' gave, by their dress, the impression of wealth and respectability. While they were well dressed, their followers were anything but. The 'nobles' stayed in the local hostelry, whilst the others camped or dossed wherever they could find shelter. As pilgrims, they were protected by a letter from the Emperor Sigismund. Sigismund, Roman emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia, and son of the Emperor Charles 1V, was renowned as the great leader who had taken the combined armies of Christendom on a Crusade against the Turks in 1396. One of the most far-sighted statesman of his day, he tried to bring about the expulsion of the Turks from Europe by uniting all of Christendom against them.

    Later, having persuaded Pope Martin V that they were on a seven year pilgrimage, they received a letter of protection allowing them free and unhindered access to all Christian countries. They lived off the generosity of the locals, and when insufficient was forthcoming, helped themselves. The ladies soon gained a reputation as fortune-tellers, but as many of their 'clients' were relieved of their purses at the same time, they also gained the not unfounded reputation of being thieves and pickpockets. Many were arrested and some executed.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are many stereotypes about the people loosely grouped under the term Gypsies, more correctly called the Roma and Kalderash people. Those stereotypes have been around for 2 thousand years. The word "gypsies" is a corruption of the word "Egyptian," because people in the Middle Ages believed that gypsies came from the Middle East.

    For more reliable information, you could try a fantastic book called _Bury Me Standing_ by Isabel Fonseca. It has a good history of the Roma experience in Europe, and takes a hard look at their present-day circumstances in former Communist states.

    There are also many romanticised accounts, such as the Victorian books by George Borrow, which created friendlier, but equally pernicious, stereotypes of carefree, irresponsible music-makers.

    The films of Tony Gatlif, who is Roma, offer further insights into contemporary Roma life in Europe (for example, Latcho Drom). There is a recent Irish film, Pavee Lackeen, about a Traveller girl in Ireland.

    There is a great deal of anti-Roma discrimination, based on deeply-held prejudices (ie: that Roma are thieves, lazy, etc) similar to other racisms. There is also a lack of written Roma history, as Romany was only an oral language until the 20th century. Better-informed books are beginning to appear.

    Douglas Kenrick is an English scholar who has collected many, many Roma songs. There are some songbooks available. David Morley is a British Roma poet, with a book in English and Romany forthcoming from Carcanet.

    Music is particularly important to Roma life, and the magnificent Gypsy Queens CD set, including diva Ezma Redzepova (currently heard on the Borat film soundtrack) gives a fantastic sense of the diversity and vitality of contemporary Mahalas (Roma communities) in the face of hardship and persecution.

    Source(s): European Roma Rights Centre
  • 1 decade ago

    The Roma people, often referred to as Gypsies, are an ethnic group who live primarily in Europe. They are believed to have originated in the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent. They began their migration to Europe and North Africa via the Iranian plateau about 1,000 years ago. The reason for their diaspora remains an enigma.

    go to this site and it will give more to choose from

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,, i know from reading that the anthropologists and archeology scientists think that they originated from the troops of Alexander the Great, after he died.. The kingdom was divided up with all his generals,, and the people left with each one,, they travel and have no real place to call home..

    I was around quite a number of them in Italy. They do not mix with outsiders, unless it is to beg, or the children are excelent pickpockets..

    While standing in St Peter Square, i watched them ambush so many tourists...

    hope this helps,,

    good luck

    Source(s): World Traveler
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  • 1 decade ago

    Gypsies are nomadic people who travelled from central asia to europe several centuries ago.They are large number of gypsies in india, romania , poland , spain,portugal, italy , and other countries of central asia. During olden days large nomber of indian (at that time it was arya varta - land of the aryans) fought one another and the defeated people left the land and settled in hordes in free lands of europe which were pagan lands at that time. much similar in language and culture before the advent of christianity. They were accepted as culturally and linguistically they were quite similar. Even to this day there languages relate to sanskrit,latin and other romance languages.They were earlier warriors and unknown to farming. They made a living through singing, fortue telling, selling medicinal herbs etc. sadly they were persecuted by hitler like other christian rulers though they were in every aspect(much more) Aryan. They are misunderstood even today at this computer age.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    might want to you have an interest in procuring my babies? The boy is skinny and small yet fairly reliable and distinctly intelligent. the female is amazingly fairly. i have informed them, in the journey that they don't behave we are going to promote them to the gypsies, yet were having a devil of a time searching prepared shoppers.

  • 1 decade ago

    The came from India

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Here you go!

    The person above is correct... It all started in punjab.

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