Serbia, Bulgaria, Walachia, Moldavia
When and how the Roma, coming from Greece (at the time belonging to the Byzantine Empire) came to the Balkans cannot be reconstructed because of the very sparse sources. From the middle of the 14th century onwards, single groups of people are mentioned in passages of Southeastern European documents, people who have repeatedly been termed "gypsies" (by early tsiganologues). After critical examination, however, it should be doubted whether these, not commented, entries really indicated Roma.
There is one document from Serbia in which, in 1348, Stefan IV gave – apart from tailors, smiths and saddle-makers – some "C'ngari" to the monastery of Prizren. It is possible that the latter were "gypsies" – as claimed by researchers. However, the more obvious explanation seems to be that they were simply members of another trade, because Serbian "c'ngar" means "shoemaker".
There is also a deed of gift from Bulgaria which shows a similar problem. In this document, King Ivan Schischman made several towns, among them some so-called "agupovi kleti" over to the Rila monastery in 1378. Bulgarian linguists translated this word combination as "shepherd huts". Other scientist, however, thought that it should have been read as "aguptivi kleti" and thought to recognize "gypsy huts", "aguptivi" being the Bulgarian synonym for Egyptians – that is the "gypsies" -, as the gift.
In documents from the old Romanian principalities Moldavia and Walachia, there is repeatedly mention of deeds of gift including whole Roma societies. In 1385, Dan I, vojvoda (vajda) of Walachia, confirmed some deeds of gift which had been given to the covenant of the Virgin Mary, Tismana, by his predecessor, which included 40 salase ("tent communities") of the "Acingani". Dan’s successor, Mircea I, gave 300 salase Roma to the newly founded Cozia monastery in 1388. In neighboring Moldavia, Alexander the Good made 31 salse "Tigani" and 12 tents "tartars" over to the Bistritz monastery. Contrary to the above-mentioned documents, these documents definitely talk about Roma, not least because Romanian "salas" (lodgings) also means tent community.
Even though it cannot be proven by the sparse written sources, the Roma settled on the Balkans in the second half of the 14th century at the latest. In the Danube principalities they were welcome because of their skills. In order to permanently preserve the essential economic factor the Roma represented, authorities and church soon prevented them from traveling.
When the principalities Moldavia (in 1396) and Walachia (in 1500) became obliged to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire, trade in these regions almost completely came to a standstill. The agricultural yield was brought to Constantinople at low prices. Because of lower income and more taxes, smaller farmers turned into bondsmen. The Roma became the property of the state, the church, or big landowners, and thus slaves for centuries [Vlax-Roma]
Also in the kingdom of Hungary, which at the time included Transsylvania, big parts of former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, the Roma’s arrival cannot be set on a precise date. From 1370 onwards, the word "Cigan" in several variations appears as surname, but this does not necessarily mean that those who used this name were Roma. Nikolaus der Henker (Nikolaus the Hangman) is mentioned several times in the Agram court’s book of protocol from 1378 onwards as a "Cigan" ("dictus Cigan"), but it is not stated that he was a "gypsy".
In Northwestern Transsylvania one comes across several geographic names which remind one of the Roma. Next to a town called Cigányvaja, a noble family called "Zygan" is mentioned. Their history, however, can be traced back to the acquisition of land, which almost excludes a Roma origin.
Unfortunately, later source passages do not reveal such pieces of evidence. In 1890, Heinrich of Wlislocki cites a note according to which the town of Brasov (Kronstadt) provided "Mr. Emaus from Egypt and his 220 companions" with money and provisions in 1416. Even though this note would fit well into the known historical context both chronologically and as regards content, no documentary piece of evidence has been adducted. The same is true for a letter of safe conduct by Nikolaus of Gara, which is said to have been issued to the Roma in absence of King Sigismund in Hungary (in 1416).
Independent of the time of the first Roma’s arrival it has to be noted that, apart form Transsylvania, the Roma were received with a greater measure of tolerance in Hungary than in other countries. Their knowledge about metal processing and weapon making made them much sought-after, and they were protected by the king. Private use of their services had to be approved of by the king. For example, in 1476 the citizens of the town of Herrmannstadt had to ask Matthias Corvinus for permission before they were allowed to have the Roma work in the suburbs.
Earliest sources from Central Europe
A note in the Hildesheimer Stadtrechnung (Book of Expenses), dating form 1407, is commonly thought to be the oldest piece of evidence of the Roma’s appearance in Germany. It says that "am 20. September den Tataren auf der Stadtschreiberei, wo man ihre Briefe prüfen wollte, für einen halben Stüber Wein gegeben" (on the 20th of September, the tartars were given some wine). Later entries make it clear that the "Tatars" were, in reality, Roma. Still, the name "Tatars" which had been use falsely at the Roma’s first appearance, is still used in Northern Germany and Scandinavia.
In 1414, the Wochenausgabebücher (book of weekly expenses) of the city of Basel mention a "heathen", who, "by the grace of God" had been given 10 Schilling by the city. It is not sure if this refers to a Rom, as at that time all foreigners were called "heathens". In the years and decades that followed, however, the term "heathens" was without doubt used as synonym of "gypsy" in the German-speaking and Dutch area.
The "gypsies" appeared in Hesse in 1414 as well. The entry into the "Hessischen Chronik" about their arrival had, however, been made only 200 years after the event, so the date may not be completely accurate. According to the "Meißner Chronik", which had also been written at a later time, the "Zigani" had already been expelled from the margravate by 1416.
Already in 1399, the Rechtsbuch (Book of Law) of Rosenberg (Bohemia) mentions a "Cikan" as accomplice of a robber called Vachek, and in 1416, the "Cinkani" ppeared in the Czech chronicle for the first time.
Roma as organized groups of pilgrims
From 1417 onwards, chroniclers of numerous European countries noted down the arrival of the Roma, who were called – depending on the chroniclers’ knowledge and on the information given by the new arrivals – "Tatars", "Egyptians", "Egiptenleut" (Egyption people), "heathens", "Sarrasins" (Saracens) or "gypsies". These terms, documented in a wide area, marked the beginning of a new epoch in the Roma’s history, an epoch in which the Roma appeared in an up-to-then unknown number and attracted immense attention everywhere.
In Central and Western European cities the Roma appeared as big groups led by people with noble titles, and claimed a pilgrim status. According to contemporary descriptions, such "groups of pilgrims" comprised 30, 100 and sometimes over 300 people, traveling on foot or on horseback. If they were denied access to the towns, thy camped in the open country near the towns. Their leaders called themselves "dukes", "counts" or "vojvoda". They had jurisdiction over their retinue, wore better clothes, and always traveled on horseback. Sometimes "Dukes of Little Egypt" did stay within the cities, and it could be that these were not Roma, but real noblemen who were appointed "vojvoda" in their former home countries.
According to the chronicles, the leaders presented themselves officially to the city’s governors on their arrival. Oftentimes, they could show letters of safe conduct or of recommendation by religious and secular rulers, which assured them safe conduct and protection against attacks. The allegedly religious motivation for their journey made them be received in a friendly and hospitable way. In this respect, the obligation to supply pilgrims with food, lodging and money, an obligation which was taken very seriously by medieval society, fit them very well. Entries in various books of expenses show that this Christian duty was fulfilled everywhere, at least on the Roma’s first appearance.
In order to be credible pilgrims, the Roma performed stories of repentance which left a great impression on the compassionate, sentimental people in the late Middle Ages. The Roma often justified their wanderings as penitential pilgrimage which had been imposed on them because they had temporarily broken with Christianity. Later, two reasons were added: the refusal to take Joseph and Mary in, and the Holy Family’s flight from Egypt. [Stereotypes and Folklorism]
The idea to present themselves– to their advantage – as pilgrims when leaving Greece most probably derived from the contact with those Christians who temporarily stayed in Epirius and on the Peloponnes on their journey to the Holy Land. Also the "gypsy settlement""Gyppe" near Modon (Peloponnes) goes back to "Little Egypt" which, in the sources from 1418 onwards, was considered the Roma’s country of origin. "Little Egypt" (an area on Peloponnes) had, for some time, been taken for the "real" Egypt – the Nile country – by the chroniclers. Connected to this mistake is the erroneous term used to describe the Roma, "Egyptians", a term with many variations ("gypsies", "Gitanos", "Egypter" etc.) and that is still commonly used today as umbrella term for Roma..
It is probable that at first only a limited number of Roma traveled Europe: entries on Roma in neighboring cities and regions are at short intervals of time, and the leaders’ names (Andreas, Michael) stay the same. The varying entries on their numbers lead to the assumption that only the group’s nucleus stayed together all the time. Smaller groups seem to have split themselves from the rest and to have taken different routes, only to return to the main group at a later stage.
Reasons for westward migration
The Roma’s migration to Central and Western Europe coincides with the Turk’s invasion in Southeastern Europe. It was thus deduced that the Roma fled from the Turks. This thesis is quite plausible; however, it has to be taken into consideration that the greatest part of Roma stayed in areas which later came under Turkish reign.
One reason for this, only partial migration was the Roma’s slavery in the Balkan principalities. A second decisive factor probably was the fact that the Ottomans exercised only "indirect" reign in the conquered areas. Thus, the Roma’s situation probably had not gotten worse under Ottoman reign (compared to the earlier rulers). The Turks introduced a system of taxes, but they did not load more onto the civilians in the conquered areas.
Notwithstanding corresponding entries in source texts, a religious motivation for the migration is highly improbable, particularly because the Ottomans were far more tolerant towards those of different faith than, for instance, the Christian kingdoms in Europe. Most probably the Roma used the religious motivation, fleeing from the "infidels", a motivation geared to the population of Central and Western Europe, primarily as a means to make sure they were received in a friendly way.
The bloody battles during Turkish invasion seem to be a convincing reason for leaving one’s home, and for accepting an uncertain fate and dangers. In the course of the Balkans conquest the Turks destroyed cities, towns and monasteries. Whole areas were ravaged. It seems only logical that the majority of the Roma left the areas which were particularly affected by the war out of self-protection.
Apart from the wish to protect life and limb, and a few possessions, another aspect is worth being taken into consideration: as was mentioned before, the Roma were under the reign of noblemen who were – as indicated by sources from Transsylvania, Poland and Lithuania, and backed by chronicles – appointed Vojvoda. Arnold von Harff gives the information that some of these dukes did not want to serve the Turks. Most probably they would have lost far more than their subjects under Turkish reign. We cannot rule out that the Vojvoda‘s own interest was a decisive factor for the migration.
Arrivals from 1417 till 1421
In 1417, after the Roma’s first appearance, the town of Hildesheim was visited again by the "Tartars from Egypt", who were given alms "in honor of God" gab. Trotzdem ließ die Bürgerschaft ihr Lager sicherheitshalber von zwei Marktknechten bewachen.
Also in 1417, a group of Roma traveled through Lueneburg, Hamburg, Luebeck, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, and Greifiswald. Dominican monk Hermann Cornerus reports about foreign, up to then completely unknown, traveling people who had come in great number from the East into Allemania, and traveled on to the German coast. Thus, his "Chronicon" offers the first extensive report about the arrival of a big group of Roma.
According to Cornerus’ entry, there were about 300 people, men and women, calling themselves "Secaner" (obvioulsy an early form of "cigani") "terrible to look at" and "lack like the Tartars". They were – said the monk – led by a duke and a count who had jurisdiction over them and whose orders were followed. Those "Secaner" had shown letters of safe conduct by princes, mainly from Sigismund, the Roman king, and had thus been treated "in a hospitable way". The chronicler explains the fact that they settled outside of the city’s walls: many of them were thieves and would have run the risk of being arrested in the city. It seems that the letters of safe conduct were not sufficient to protect the Roma against reprisals in the Hansa towns in case of assumed or proven theft. Whether the authorities imposed stricter punishment or whether the population sought revenge is not clear. In any case, a part of this group moved on to Southern Germany in the first months of 1418.
The city of Frankfurt gave "those wretched people from Little Egypt" 4 Pfund and 4 Schilling for food and meat in June that year. The corresponding note is, by the way, the earliest mention of "Little Egypt" as the Roma’s home country.
At about the same time, the "gypsies" appeared in Alsace. We cannot be sure if the dates, from records in Strasbourg, are correct; even less so as the entries date from a later period. In the city’s chronicle, written in the 16th century, the year 1418 is reported as the year of the "Zeygingern"'s arrival; they "had enough money and didn’t hurt a fly". They had come – according to the chronicler – from "Epirus", "called Little Egypt by common people.".
More reliable and precise information comes from Colmar. This city was visited by about 30 "heathens" in August 1418, followed by 100 more after the first group’s departure. Apart from already known observations, the Roma’s earrings, the particular costume of the women and the latter’s skill at palmistry were recorded for the first time.
For 1418, there are also notes of numerous arrivals in Switzerland: the chronicles of Zurich, Basel, Solothum, and Bern show such entries; it has to be said, however, that these entries were – with one exception – not written by eye-witnesses, and that the writers obviously copied from one another. Conrad Justinger, the only contemporary Swiss chronicler, reports about more than 200 baptized "heathens" who were camping near Bern and had been expelled by the city authorities because the citizens would no longer tolerate their numerous thefts.
Apparently, the Roma left Switzerland even before the end of 1418; afterwards, the numbers of arrivals in France rise. On August 22nd, 1419, the "Sarrassins", led by "Duke Andrés of Little Egypt" appeared in Chatillon-en-Dombes. As they could present a letter of recommendation by the king and duke of Savoy, they were received with wine, oats and six Florins. Five weeks later, Sisteron reports the arrival of "Saracens" in the Provence; they were denied access to the city, but food and fodder for the horses was brought to their camp in the open country.
In January 1420, "Duke Andreas" and 100 companions arrived in Brussels. In March of the same year, their arrival is reported in Deventer (Holland). It is possible that this group is the same as that reported in France. However, we cannot be absolutely sure, even less so as it has been proven that letters of safe conduct had been copied. The leader of one group could have introduced himself with the name of the person to whom the document had been given. Also, it cannot be completely excluded that there had been two leaders of the same name at the same time.
In 1421, arrivals are reported in Brügge and Mons, the latter had even been visited twice. On October 8th, 80 people led by "Duke Andreas of Little Egypt" arrived, and produced a letter of safe conduct issued by Emperor Sisgismund. On October 20th a second group followed, whose leader was called Michael, who claimed to be the afore-mentioned Andreas’ brother.
Letters of Safe Conduct
Sources oftentimes report about letters of safe conduct which the Roma’s leaders carried at their arrival. Such documents are our passports’ predecessors, were issued to one person (in this case the Vojvoda) and guaranteed a free, but mainly a safe journey to the bearer and his entourage.
In the Roma’s case, these letters’ authenticity can be questioned, and it is highly probably that they had copies made. Even though such letters were duplicated and passed on from group to group, or – as was common in the Middle Ages – fake documents were circulating, there can be no doubt that the Roma also were in the possession of genuine travel documents.
An undoubtedly genuine and repeatedly mentioned letter of safe conduct is the one issued by King Sisgismund during the Council of Constance (1414 – 1418). In it, the highest secular ruler of Christendom granted the Roma, who said about themselves that "their ancestors had broken with faith in Little Egypt", "escort and a free journey through his countries and cities". Sebastian Münster who saw a copy of this letter decades later reports Lindau as place of issue in his "Cosmographia universalis", published in 1550, but does not mention a precise date. Probably, the letter was issued before autumn 1417; at that time, the Roma already presented it in cities in Northern Germany.
It was certainly not unintentional that a very busy King Sigismund received the Roma during the Great Council. Possibly, the Roma, who had not long ago traveled through areas occupied by the Turks, could be of use by giving him important information. After all, he himself had not visited Hungary, threatened by the Turks, for years and thus urgently needed information about what was happening in the Eastern parts of his empire. If reports in later sources are to be believed, Sigismund had already been in contact with the Roma on the occasion of his crusade against the Turks in 1396. In this case, the Roma had every right to hope for the desired letter of safe conduct or for renewal of existing ones.
Apart from royal letters of safe conduct, the Roma also had such letters by other secular dignitaries at their disposal. The oldest document that had not come from a royal chancellery was a letter of recommendation by the duke of Savoy, presented in Châtillon in 1419. Guaranties from individual princes were of advantage particularly in the areas outside of the Holy Roman Empire, where royal letters were not valid.
In view of Europe’s disunity and the ensuing obligation to ask for protection in many independent principalities and kingdoms the Roma were soon looking for a letter of recommendation which should be valid everywhere. Such a document could, at the time, issued only by a representative of the second universal power – the pope.
The first report about a papal letter of recommendation dates from 1422. At that time, the chronicler of Basel reports about the arrival of Duke Michael and his entourage that they had presented letters of safe conduct by "the pope and our Lord, the King, and by other Lords". If the date is right, Duke Michael would have had to see the pope even before a certain Duke André. We know about the latter that he arrived in Bologna with about 100 companions in July 1422, and traveled on to Forlí. Forlí’s city chronicle, which, by the way, mentions the Indian origin of the strangers for the first time, reports that the Roma had left Forlí heading for Rome, in order to see the pope. After that, their trace has been lost. Whether Duke André arrived in Rome and was granted an audience with the pope, Martin V, is not known.
The existing pieces of evidence cannot confirm the"gypsies" audience. A thorough search of the papal archives in 1932 did not result in new indications. All this confirms the thesis that the Roma had been turned away, and thus procured the desired document elsewhere. Independent of the papal letter’s authenticity, they must have made numerous copies of it. The bearers’ changing names, and inconsistencies as regards content make these allegedly "papal" documents appear very suspicious.
A new document was carried by the first group of Roma who arrived in Regensburg in 1421. It was a letter of safe conduct by King Sigismund, issued in Zips in 1423 to vojvoda Ladislaus and his "gypsies"; this letter has survived in the form of a copy made by chroniclers in Regensburg. The original’s authenticity is highly probable, as the emperor had at that time really resided in the castle of Zips.
In this letter, Sigismund not only grants the afore-mentioned Ladislaus his particular protection, but he also confirms Ladislaus’ jurisdiction of his retinue. There is also further evidence that there was no connection between this group and the ones mentioned before. The name of the Vojvoda, who is explicitly called a faithful follower of the king, usually appears in Hungary and Poland; there is no indication about the pilgrimage or the origin of the "gypsies"; this leads to the assumption that they had already been in Hungary for some time. Apparently, they were part of a second wave of immigration which took place in a very different context.
In 1425, King Alfonso V of Arágon issued a letter of safe conduct in Zaragossa to "Juan de Egipto Menor". This document is the first known letter of safe conduct issued in Spain. Only a few months later, Alfonos issued a similar document to Count "Thomas of Little Egypt", which grants the latter a free and safe journey and excludes him form all taxes and tolls. This second letter reappeared, in the form of a certified copy, ten years later when the "highly honorable" Thomas and his entourage wanted to cross the Pyrenees and the border guards wanted him to pay the toll. Thomas insisted on not paying, and high officials from Jaca (Huesca) were called. The document’s examination confirmed its authenticity.
Further Arrivals up to 1435
In 1426, Regensburg was again visited by a group "of the gypsy tribe", in 1427 the Roma appeared again in Augsburg. The Augsburg chronicler noted that the people from Egypt "have ever since been called gypsies, and that they returned often".
One of the most extensive and vivid reports of those early times was provided by an anonymous bourgeois in Paris. In his "Journal d’un Bourgeois de Paris" he describes how, on August 17th, 1427, at first "12 penitents" – "one duke, one count, 10 people, all on horseback" – arrived at the city gates of Paris, at that time occupied by the English, and presented the letter of safe conduct by Pope Martin V. They said that they had made a pilgrimage to Rome in order to confess their sins - they had broken with their faith and had thus been expelled from their home country. The pope’s penance had been to wander the world for seven years "without sleeping in a bed". To put their statement that they had already wandered five years before coming to Paris on firm ground, they fixed the date of their audience – if ever it had taken place – as 1422, that is exactly the same time in which other sources also hint at such an event.
According to the "Bourgeois"' further explanations, this vanguard of 12 was followed on August 29th by a big group of more than 100 men, women and children. The authorities denied them entry into the capital, but assigned them a place to camp near chapel St. Denis, at that time situated North of the city.
Apparently, the Roma aroused a lot of attention; the writer of the diary also mentions that curious people from all over Paris came to goggle at them. He complements an extensive description of their looks with an enumeration of all the accusations that had been made against the foreigners (fortune telling, theft, magic,...). – but he does say that he cannot confirm them.
When rumors of the Roma’s "unchristian" practices reached the bishop of Paris, he hastened to the Roma’s camp and excommunicated all those who had shown their hands to the fortune tellers. Excommunicating the Roma seemed unnecessary, as the bishop considered them – notwithstanding the papal letter of safe conduct – to be "heathens" They were simply expelled from La Chapelle. The description of these events concludes with the note that the Roma moved on towards Pontoise on September 8th, 1427.
Only 3 weeks after that, a "Count Thomas", accompanied by approximately 40 people, coming form a "foreign and very far country", appeared near Amiens. After a thorough examination of the papal letter of safe conduct the council decided to allow the foreigners into the city and to give them "8 livres parises" from the city’s coffers as alms. The time, the almost identical wording of the story told, and the letter by Martin V which is mentioned again led to the assumption that this Count Thomas and the leader of the Roma near La Chapelle, who had not been described in detail, were one and the same person. Possibly, the group that appeared in Tournai in March 1429 also was his entourage.
At about the same time, the Roma appeared for the first time in Polish sources. In 1428, "gypsies" coming from Hungary or Romania are mentioned in Sanok; they probably are the Polish Bergitska-Roma's ancestors.
In 1429, the Dutch city of Deventer lodged people from Little Egypt. The corresponding note in the books is interesting in so far as for the first time, the term "heathen" was used in the Netherlands. It has, from that time on, been the common denomination for Roma.
In 1429/30 also the Dutch cities of Nijmegen, Utrecht, Arnhem, Middelburg, Zutphen, Leiden and Rotterdam reported the arrival of "heathens". When, in 1431, Middelburg was visited a second time, the "Duke of Egypt" could not only show a papal letter of safe conduct, but also one by Phillipe of Burgundy (1419 – 1467). In this latter document the powerful Duke of Burgundy, who at the time was ruling the major part of the Netherlands, demanded that "they (the Roma) should find help".
The visits in Thüringen stick out of the other arrivals on German ground. The Roma who arrived in Erfurt (in 1432) and in Meiningen (in 1435) do not seem to have any connection with the groups mentioned before. Possibly, they also belonged to the second wave of immigrants coming from Hungary.
Distrust and Reproaches – Buying out, Deportation and Expulsion
By 1435, the Roma were known in the whole of Central and Western Europe, and had attracted immense attention. Declaring their journey a pilgrimage, as well as their letters of safe conduct assured them a friendly reception at their first appearance. However, the "gypsies" were suspect to the settled population – particularly for that in German-speaking countries – from the beginning. Very soon, their foreign appearance, such as the "black" skin color and their "terrible" looks were associated with negative character traits and socially inappropriate behavior. There are very few positive descriptions, but numerous and repeatedly mentioned negative ones. Already in the earliest sources the Roma were presented as "wretched people, lacking manners and God".
Smaller offences against property and deceits were at the root of the Roma’s bad reputation as "cunning thieves". Fortune telling, which had apparently been a cover-up for pickpockets, aroused the displeasure of the religious authorities. Church representatives assumed "witchcraft"and "wizardry" behind the Roma’s tricks and feared for their faithful’s spiritual salvation.
Whereas theft and fortune telling was oftentimes recorded in the sources and was immediately stylized as ethnic characteristic – disregarding completely their small basis of existence -, there is no evidence that the Roma had worked as spies for the Turks, as was often claimed. Even though not a single Rom could be convicted of espionage, the picture of the Roma as a "treacherous" and "unfaithful" people came into existence and continued to exist over centuries.
Already at their first arrival, the Roma were suffered only for some time by the settled population. In many towns, they were only allowed to stay a maximum of 2 or 3 days. Oftentimes they were asked to leave the city because of offences they were accused of.
After a short time when the strangers had been received in a (more or less) hospitable way, the settled city population tried to keep them from the cities. The better known the Roma got in the German-speaking area, the more negative accounts about them were circulating and the more often they were denied access to towns. In Frankfort, this happened twice within a few years (1449 and 1454).
Also the much-cited "alms in honor of God" changed into a sort of "buying out" the "pilgrim"'s. Der erste Fall eines irksome presence. The first such case was in Bamberg. The city’s chronicle reported that, in 1463, the "gypsies" were given a present of 7 Pfund, "darum, dass sie von stund an hin wegschieden und die gemein unbeschädigt liessen". (so that they would leave the city within an hour). It was not fulfilling a Christian duty, as it was at first, but solely averting predictable problems.
When the "gypsies" returned, notwithstanding entry bans, notwithstanding threatened and later also executed excommunications, notwithstanding deportation and being "bought out", the first forcible expulsions took place. Because of a growing distrust and the population’s more and more hostile stance towards the foreigners, the local authorities and the state took drastic steps. Elector Albrecht Achilles of Brandenburg’s 1482 edict, which forbid the "gypsies" to stay in his territory under threat of penalty, and the declaration in the course of the Reichstag (Parliament session) in Lindau, 1497, which made the "gypsies""outlaws", were the first steps towards "gypsy prosecution" on a large scale.