The Roma people are thought to have arrived in Europe as pilgrims. According to Fraser,1 the Roma entered Europe through the Balkans sometimes during the Middle Ages. At the time of their arrival in Europe the Europeans knew little about the origin of these people and only later in the eighteenth century, due to some linguistic evidences, their origin was tracked back to northern India, in a territory currently known as the Punjab region. However, the reason for which they fled India are unknown although there have been several historical speculations on this issue. One of the more recent accounts on the history of Roma is offered by Donald Kenrick2 in a complete chronology of Roma attestations in Europe. The study offers also a few accounts on the historical events that might have influenced Roma’s migrations prior to their arrival in Europe. Many authors3 agree that the earliest mention of the Roma in a written document was in 1011 in Persia, in the Shah Namah (Book of the Kings) by the famous poet Ferdowsi. According to Ferdowsi “10,000 Luri musicians were imported from India by Bahram Gour in 420 B.C.”4 Kenrick5 finds the first mention of the Roma in Persia to be later in ad 225-241. In ad 855 during the Arab Empire, the Greeks defeated the Arabs at Ainzarba and took the Zott (Indians from Persia, nowadays regarded as Roma) soldiers and their families as prisoners to Byzantium. This is how some authors explain the early presence of Roma in Europe.6 Yet, the Roma in Europe are not merely the descendants of those musicians once imported to Persia. Some scholars argue that a second and much greater wave of migration happened in 1192 when the Muslim domination over the Northern part of India began as an outcome of the Indian defeat during the second battle of Terain. The Roma are thought

1  Angus Fraser, The Gypsies (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992). 2  Donald Kenrick, Historical dictionary of the Gypsies (Romanies) (Lanham,

MD: Scarecrow Press, 1998). 3  Jules Bloch, Les Tsiganes (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1953);

4  Yoors, Gypsies, 9. 5  Kenrick, Historical dictionary, iiv. 6  Thomas Acton quoted in Jørg E. Albert, Sigøjnere er et folk (Copenhagen: Forlaget

to have left the country either as prisoners of war or as refugees. According to Nupam Mahajan:

The same date is mentioned by Kenrick8 as the time when “the last Gypsies leave for the West.” Later on, the Black Plague that reached Constantinople in 1347 is thought to have pushed the Roma that had been already residing in Byzantium further away into Europe. As an effect, the first mentioning of the Roma in the Balkans is in Prizren, nowadays in Kosovo, in 1348. Several other mentions of the Roma in the fourteenth century start appearing in Dubrovnik/Croatia, in Romania “the first recorded transaction of Gypsy slaves” in 1385, and in Bohemia. After the fourteenth century there are several other attestations of the presence of Roma on many European territories. Kenrick9 enumerates these attestations as following:

7  Nupam Mahajan, “Coins of Islamic Dynasties,” Nupam’s Webpage for the Indian Coins, 24 February 1999, <https://www.nupam.com/delhi1.html>; (28 May 2008)

8  Kenrick, Historical dictionary, xii. 9  Kenrick, Historical dictionary, xii.