Arrival in Europe

The first written accounts about Roma in Western Europe originated in Greece:

1100 A.C.

A monk from Mount Athos speaks of “atsinganos”.

1322 A.C.

Two friars in Crete describe a very strange nomadic group.

1350 A.C.

Romani colonies are established in Modon (Greek Peloponnese). Blacksmiths and shoemakers work near Mount Gype and a village called Little Egypt. Many regions in Asia Minor and Greece are called Little Egypt because of their greenery and fertility (hence the confusion in thinking that Roma came from Egypt).

Engraving from “CosmoGraphive Universalis”, Münster, 1544

Documents from 1370 mentioned slavery in Wallachia and Moldavia (in present-day Romania). From 1415, numerous documents have described the arrival and presence of Roma in all European countries. They rapidly expanded in groups of between 25 and 125 people, led by leaders who were called counts, dukes or voivodes (war-lords) and who were in possession of safe conduct passes and letters from kings and emperors.

During the 15th century, Roma would enjoy privileges and good treatment because they travelled as pilgrims, except in cases of those who were imprisoned and made slaves while travelling through Wallachia and Moldova.

Article from the “Maj Khetane” educational project.
Written by Jesús Salinas.