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The Roma in Romanian History

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Viorel Achim

Chapter II. The gypsies in the romanian lands during the middle ages. Slavery

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1. THE AGE AND ORIGIN OF SLAVERY IN THE ROMANIAN LANDS

  • 1 See below pp. 42–43.

1From the first attestations of their presence in Wallachia and Moldavia, the Gypsies were slaves. They were to remain in this social condition for many centuries until the laws abolishing slavery in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Gypsies were also enslaved in Transylvania, more particularly in the regions that were for a time under the control of the Wallachian and Moldavian princes. Even after the end of the dominion of the two Romanian states there, the Gypsies remained for a time as slaveŞ a vestige of that previous era.1

  • 2 N. Iorga, op. cit., p. 22.
  • 3 Al. Gonţa, op. cit., p. 313ff.

2The origins of slavery in the principalities have not formed the basis of an independent study in Romanian historiography. Generally speaking, works of social history, which inevitably make reference to the slavery of the Gypsieş content themselves with the statement that the slavery dates from before the creation of the principalities and that its origin is unknown. Since the appearance of the Gypsies in the Romanian territories was linked with the Tatarş who ruled there after 1241, the slavery of the Gypsies has been regarded as a vestige of that era. In the view of Nicolae Iorga, the Gypsies who were the slaves of the Tatars were taken over by the Romanians preserving their state of bondage.2 Other writers explain the appearance of slavery in the Romanian territories with reference to the Romanians’ battles with the Tatars. As a result of these battleş Gypsies captured from the Tatars were transformed into slaves.3

  • 4 N. Beldiceanu, Irène Beldiceanu-Steinherr, op. cit., p. 13.

3The problem of slavery in the medieval history of Romania is not restricted to the slavery of the Gypsies. Alongside the Gypsy slaveş in the Romanian states there were also Tatar slaves. Moldavian documents of the fifteenth century tell us about this second category of slaves. These Tatars were mistakenly identified as Gypsies and so the theory of the arrival of the Gypsies on Romanian territory in the thirteenth century during the Tatar domination was constructed on the basis of this identification. It is certain that the Tatar slaves mentioned in the Moldavian documents were a legacy of the Tatars. They were Tatars (or rather slaves of the Tatars) who had ended up in the possession of the Romanians. We find it highly plausible that at the time of the conflicts between the Romanians and the Tatars during the fourteenth century, the Romanians would have transformed Tatar prisoners of war into slaves. Having spent a long period of time under Mongolian domination, we can hypothesise that the Romanians could have adopted from the latter the practice of enslaving captured enemies. It is noŢ however, obligatory to regard these prisoners of war as Tatars from an ethnic point of view. As has been supposed, it is highly probable that the Tatar slaves in Moldavia were in fact a population of Cumanş established in the region before the arrival of the Tatars.4 The Romanians took them over as slaves and kept them on in this state.

4The question that needs to be asked is: when did they come into the possession of the Romanians? For how long had there been Tatar slaves? Since the founding of the principality in the middle of the fourteenth century? Or from a later time, when the Moldavian state had incorporated the territory to the south where Tatar domination had continued until the last decade of the fourteenth century? It is difficult to give an answer to these questions in the absence of any definite historical evidence. To historianş however, it is certain that there were also Tatar slaves in Wallachia, although they are not mentioned in official documents. The toponyms “Tătărăi” in Muntenia (identical to the toponyms “Tătăraşii” in Moldavia) appear to indicate this very population of slaves acquired from the Tatars. We believe that we may assume that “Tatar” slaves existed in Wallachia and Moldavia from the foundation of these principalities which took place at the beginning and the middle of the fourteenth century respectively. Once passed under this new dominion, Tatar prisoners of war or Tatars’ slaves entered the service of the prince as slaves.

  • 5 See Al. Gonţa, op. cit., pp. 307–311, with the references in the notes.
  • 6 B. D. Grekov, Ţăranii în Rusia (translation), Bucharesţ 1952, pp. 151–153.
  • 7 See Al. Eck, “Les non-libres dans la Russie de Moyen-Age”, Revue historique de droit français et é (...)

5This is not however, an instance of a phenomenon peculiar to Romanian history. In Eastern Europe, the turning of pagan enemies into slaves was practised in the first centuries of the second millennium. It is known that prior to their Christianisation, the Hungarians would turn prisoners of war into slaves. In the Hungarian Kingdom, Muslim Saracens and Mozaic Khazars were used as slaves until the thirteenth century, when they were forced to convert to Christianity.5 In fourteenth century Hungary, however, the institution of slavery no longer existed. The Eastern Slavs established slavery for those that they captured in battle.6 Prisoners taken by the Russian dukes from the Tatars were considered the duke’s slaves and as a rule used to populate certain border areas. The institution of holop continued for a long time, albeit in an increasingly watered down form, until the distinction between slave and subjugated peasant disappeared altogether in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.7 In any case, the practice of keeping domestic slaves existed almost everywhere in Europe in the early Middle Ages. The Romanians adopted slavery from the social system of the Tatars from whom they also adopted certain institutions and elements of military, admin­istrative and fiscal organisation. Slavery existed on the Romanian territories even before the creation of the Romanian states since the Tatars themselves had slaves.

6It is evident that the origins of slavery in the Romanian lands have nothing to do with the appearance of the Gypsies there. They are two distinct questions. When the Gypsies reached the area north of the Danube at the end of the fourteenth century, slavery had already been in existence there for some time. The newcomers foreign to the local society in every respect and with a nomadic way of life, were assured the same regime as that of the Tatars. The role of the Gypsies in the history of slavery in Romania lies in the fact that due to the relatively large number of Gypsies settled in the Romanian lands in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries slavery became a widespread phenomenon. The Gypsies managed to acquire the monopoly in this social institution, as by the second half of the fifteenth century they were the only slaves in the country. The Tatars who had been present in small numbers had disappeared, merging into the mass of Gypsy slaves. In this way the term “Gypsy” became synonymous with that of “slave”.

  • 8 See Helga Köpstein, Zur Sklaverei im ausgehenden Byzanz, Berlin, 1966 (with bibliography).
  • 9 Ilse Rochow, K.–P. Matschke, op. cit., pp. 243–246.

7Another question is whether the Gypsies arrived in the Romanian lands as slaves or as freemen. In order to provide a response, we need to bear in mind the social conditions of the time in the countries of South-Eastern Europe. Slavery in its medieval form was a conspicuous reality in the Byzantine Empire until later on.8 In these conditions the Gypsies paid a special tax and were recorded in a special register. This system of taxing the Gypsies would later be adopted by the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century.9 In facŢ in the Byzantine Empire, the Gypsies were in effect slaves of the state. It is certain that the same situation existed in the medieval states of Bulgaria and Serbia, however, the very few documents to have survived from these two states do not make explicit reference to the slavery of the Gypsies. This state of affairs is natural when we bear in mind the fate of Bulgaria and Serbia, conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the final decade of the fourteenth century and in the middle of the following century respectively, resulting in the destruction of their social organisation, and the fact that the period of time between the arrival of the Gypsies there and the liquidation of the two Balkan states was short in duration. Nevertheles given the position of the Gypsies during Ottoman domination, we believe that they would also have been slaves in medieval Bulgaria and Serbia. This would mean that when in the second half of the fourteenth century the Gypsies travelling from the Balkans crossed to the north of the Danube, they were already slaves.

8It is worth recalling that in the Romanian lands until the abolition of the institution (although we can presume that this was also the case in the lands south of the Danube in the fourteenth century), the status of slave did not necessarily imply being tied to a particular estate, but rather to a particular owner. The vast majority of the (enslaved) Gypsies were nomadic, tied to their master by certain obligations. The Gypsies that crossed the Danube into Wallachia, where they were “enslaved” (i.e., they entered into the possession of the Crown as slaves), did not lose their freedom, since they had never been free. By changing country, they in fact exchanged one master for another. Their social conditions did not as a result undergo any essential changes.

9The slavery of the Gypsies in the Romanian principalities can, there­fore, be also explained by the latters’ location in the historical south-east European space, where Gypsies were held as slaves even before their arrival north of the Danube. The Romanian principalities acquired the Gypsies as slaves although the institution of slavery dated from an earlier time there, from the time of the battles with the Tatars.

  • 10 P. N. Panaitescu, Le Rôsle économique et social des Tziganes au Moyen Age en Valachie et en Moldav (...)

10Another explanation for the slavery of the Gypsies in the Romanian principalities has also been offered. It has been stated that the Gypsies were not slaves from the beginning of their presence in the Romanian principalities rather that their enslavement occurred at a later stage. P. N. Panaitescu, the author of this hypothesis considers that their enslavement had a strictly economic motive, namely the need for labour force in the Romanian principalities in the Middle Ages. After the Crusades when the Romanian states thanks to their geographical position, took part in the East-West trade, the reduced number of peasants and the fact that those were not good craftsmen, especially blacksmithŞ of which there was great need, determined their feudal masters to force the Gypsies to settle on their estates thereby forfeiting their freedom.10 The importance of the trade route passing through the Romanian states especially in the second half of the fourteenth century, and the relative prosperity generated by trade for more than a century are historical realities that are beyond question. It is therefore, natural that there would have been need for labour force on the great estates. The donations and purchases of slaves are proof of this state of affairs. However, the economic role of the slaves on these estates and in the country’s economy as a whole should not be exaggerated. When the Romanian states began to have a role in European trade, the Gypsies were already in a state of slavery. The economic interest of the leading estate owners cannot explain a social and institutional status. As we have seen, the slavery of the Gypsies is an older phenomenon.

2. CATEGORIES OF SLAVES

  • 11 This problem is dealt with by G. Potra, “Despre Ţiganii domneşti, mănăstireşti şi boiereşti”, Revi (...)

11The classification of the Gypsy slave population in the Romanian lands11 should be based on precise criteria in order to avoid the possible confusions and overlapping that often appear in literature on this subject. Romanians and foreigners living at the end of the era of slavery observed numerous distinctions within the Gypsy population and produced written descriptions of the different groupŞ while some even attempted a classification of these groups. In most caseŞ however, there is confusion with regard to the understanding of the different criteria that made the Gypsy slave population present a highly varied tableau.

  • 12 Examples in N. Grigoraş, op. cit., p. 45.

12The first essential criterion is that of belonging to a master. From this point of view, Gypsy slaves can be divided into three categories: princely slaves slaves belonging to a monastery and slaves belonging to a boyar. The first category of slaves is referred to in documents as “princes’ Gypsies”, “princely Gypsy slaves”, “Gypsies of the Crown”, later on as “Gospodar’s Gypsies” and in the nineteenth century as “Gypsies of the State”. In certain periods these constituted the largest category of Gypsies. Gifts of Gypsies by the Wallachian and Moldavian princes to the monasteries and the boyars were made from this fund of princely slaves. It appears that initially the prince was in theory the sole owner of slaves and he was responsible for the granting of official approval for any transfer of slaves just as in the case of estates. The number of princely slaves also grew via the acquisition of any Gypsy without a master. There are numerous cases of Gypsies passing from one country to another who thus join the ranks of princely slaves. In cases of treason, the boyar’s slaves like the estates themselves entered into the possession of the prince. The confiscation of slaves from disloyal boyars is recorded in official documents.12

  • 13 See for example the complaint made in 1753 by a number of princely slaves in Moldavia awarded to t (...)
  • 14 N, Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 45–46.

13Most princely slaves carried out their work in the countryside, apart from those who were actually forced to work at the princely court. Princely slaves were required to carry out any work demanded of them. They brought a substantial income to the Crown through the taxes that they were obliged to pay. Generally speaking, their situation was better than that of slaves belonging either to monasteries or boyars’ estates. Princely Gypsy slaves given to monasteries or estates were unwilling to accept their new situation, and for this reason some of them fled from their new masters and returned among the “bands” of princely slaves13. There were, however, plenty of cases where princely Gypsy slaves fled to other countries. Princely Gypsy slaves often mixed with “private” slaves especially as a result of marriages contracted without the permission of their masters. Such cases led to many disputes between princes boyars and the monasteries which usually resulted in the annulment of the marriages or in exchanges of slaves as compensation. Children born into such marriages were as a rule divided between the private owner and the Crown, represented by princely magistrates. If princely slaves became confused with those belonging to monasteries or estates the magistrates were ordered to return them to the “bands of princely Gypsies”.14

  • 15 DRH, A, I, pp. 124–126.
  • 16 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 48–49.

14A separate category of slaves that existed in Moldavia were the “princes’s slaves”. These were Gypsies who were solely the possession of the wife of the prince. They are attested for the first time in 1429, when amongst other things Alexander the Good granted his wife, Princess Marena, a number of Gypsy slaves.15 The slaves were the possession of the princess in the sense that she could make a gift of them or sell them. Such slaves had their own organisation, even if they were sometimes included in the bands of princely Gypsy slaves.16

  • 17 DRH, B, I, pp. 25–28 (from the year 1388).
  • 18 See below, pp. 57–58.
  • 19 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 50–51.
  • 20 G. Potra, “Despre Ţiganii domnesti”, pp. 317–319; Olga Cicanci, “Aspecte din viata robilor de la m (...)

15Slaves belonging to monasteries mostly originated from gifts made by the princes and the boyars. Gifts of slaves made by the boyars were more numerous than those made by the princes. The monasteries managed to possess a very large number of slaves acquired via a number of paths. Cozia monastery, for example, received a gift of 300 families of Gypsies from Mircea the Old.17 The number of slaves belonging to the monasteries also increased as a result of marriages between freemen and Gypsy men and women belonging to the monastery. The rule was that these people, as well as their descendants had to become slaves. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries enslavement as a result of marriage was a relatively common phenomenon.18 There are in existence a large number of documents concerning the monasteries’ ownership of slaves. The archives of the monasteries have preserved the deeds of donation and confirmation made by the princes deeds of donations made by the boyars statistics and registers (lists), and other documents; some documents record in detail the slaves’ origins names children, professions and even any possible legal disputes held with regard to them. The monasteries’ registers also contain information about Gypsy slaves.19 The slaves were used either for agricultural labour or as craftsmen. When they had nothing to occupy them in the fields they were used for the cutting and transportation of timber. Slave women were used to spin linen. When the slaves were sent to work somewhere else, payments had to be made to the monastery in exchange for their labour. Monastery slaves living around or even within the grounds of the monastery were required to carry out various special tasks. Among their number were included craftsmen and servants. It is supposed that these slaves enjoyed a better situation than those living in the villages (estate Gypsies), who were required to carry out more onerous physical labour.20

  • 21 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 59–70.

16The slaves of the boyars’ estates could be procured as a result of princely gifts inheritances dowries and from the spoils of war. Deeds of donation show that the prince granted the slaves to the boyars or that the prince confirmed their possession by official deed as “official proprietor with full economic rights” or “hereditary and inalienable proprietor”. The gifts of slaves made by the prince were usually tied to villages. This demonstrates that the slaves dwelt on estates were granted to the boyars by the prince. The boyars were in full possession of their slaves i.e. as with any personal property or real estate, they could sell, donate, exchange, mortgage, bequeath them etc. The prince funded the buying and selling, as well as the allocation of slaves. For the boyars slaves were a cheap source of labour. In the running of a boyar’s estate, slaves played an important role, chiefly as servants and craftsmen, but also to a lesser degree as agricultural labourers.21

17Clearly, classifying the Gypsies according to which of the three categories of feudal masters they served tells us little about the occupational and cultural diversity of this population. The Gypsies were far from constituting a homogeneous group. The tableau presented by the Gypsy population during the Middle Ages was particularly varied. Spread throughout the country in relatively large numbers the Gypsies formed distinct groups that were specialised in certain occupations with their own cultural and ethnographical characteristics and sometimes even speaking their own separate dialects. Documents produced inside Wallachia and Moldavia attest to these characteristics even if their interest in them is strictly of a legal nature. Meanwhile, the descriptions provided by foreigners who came into direct contact with the situation in the Romanian principalities make the occupation and way of life of the different categories of Gypsies the principal, if not the only, criterion for their classification. In this way it has been observed that there were always both sedentary Gypsies working on the estate or at the residence of their masters as well as nomadic Gypsies who wandered the countryside. Both groups were slaves.

  • 22 M. Kogălniceanu, Esquisse sur l’histoire, les mœurs et la langue des Cigainş Berlin, 1837; reprodu (...)
  • 23 Ibid., p. 575.

18In the first half of the nineteenth century, Mihail Kogălniceanu divided the princely slaves into four categories: rudari or aurari, who were engaged in the collection of gold from river beds; ursari, who wandered the countryside, leading a bear, whom they would encourage to dance the tanana (a Gypsy dance) for paying spectators; lingurari, who made wooden spoons or other household objects; and lăieşi, whose main occupation was as blacksmiths but who also worked as stonemasons comb-makers etc. In addition, some of them made a living from stealing. None of the aforementioned had fixed dwellings; instead, they lived in tents and travelled the countryside in search of fresh ways to make a living.22 As slaves they paid a sum of money to the Crown, which varied from category to category and according to their specific situation. There were, however, also princely slaves in the towns and at the princely court where they worked as slaves and craftsmen.23

  • 24 G. Potra, Contribuţiuni, pp. 62–65.

19Kogălniceanu divided the private slaves who belonged to the boyars and the monasteries into two categories: lăieşi and vătraşi. The lăieşi belonging to private owners like those belonging to the prince, wandered the country, under the obligation to pay a sum of money to their masters. However, when the master opened a building site, the slaves were used as labourers. The vătraşi, meanwhile, had fixed dwellings and, at the time when Kogălniceanu was writing, were already assimilated into the local population; they had forgotten their mother tongue and could not be distinguished from Romanian peasants. There were two types of vătraşi, divided according to their occupation: ţigani căsaşi or de curte (manor Gypsies) and ţigani de ogor or de cămp (estate or field Gypsies). Manor Gypsies served at the boyar’s manor house, carrying out various tasks. The majority of manor Gypsies were craftsmen: blacksmiths farrier locksmiths stonemasons etc. They had a better situation than the other Gypsies. The estate Gypsies were used for agricultural labour; among the privately owned Gypsies the latter were the most numerous and the most heavily worked.24

20Thus was the structure of the Gypsy population of Moldavia and Wallachia in the first part of the nineteenth century, shortly before emancipation. It is not a complete model, as there were other categories of Gypsies that are not found in the schema produced by Kogălniceanu but which are mentioned by other authors writing in the eighteenth century or at the beginning of the nineteenth century, or in later ethnographic studies of the Gypsies. In fact over time the categories of the Gypsies have undergone various transformations. Even Kogălniceanu observed that the profession of rudari or aurari, once a very profitable business was by his time in decline, indicating the start of an occupational shift in this category of Gypsies who would re-orientate themselves as producers and sellers of wooden household objects. It is in this state that we find the rudari in all ethnographic studies devoted to them in this century. The Gypsies had an occupational dynamic that moved in accordance with the general economic changes that affected Romanian society during the Middle Ages and the modern era. The Gypsies were forced to adapt to new situations. Over time, the evolutions in their situation have led unquestionably to a gradual shift to a sedentary way of life. However, the process of transfer to a sedentary existence and the changes in occupation have not led to the shattering of the old divisions within the Gypsy population.

3. SLAVERY UNDER THE ROMANIAN ANCIEN REGIME

  • 25 Works specially devoted to the institution of slavery in the Romanian territories: I. Peretz, Robi (...)

21Slavery was an integral part of the social system of the Romanian principalities from their beginnings until the middle of the nineteenth century.25

  • 26 For a treatment of this problem, see I. R. Mircea, “Termenii rob, Şerb Şi holop în documentele sla (...)
  • 27 DRH, A, I, p. 367.
  • 28 DRH, A, II, pp. 239–241.
  • 29 I. R. Mircea, op. cit., pp. 860–862.

22The terms “slave” (rob) and “slavery” (robie)26 appear as such only at a relatively late stage. Slavery is mentioned as such for the first time in a deed dating from 30 September 1445, in which the prince of Moldavia Stephen II makes a gift to the bishop of Roman a Tatar “from among our Tatars at Neamt”. In the deed, it is specified that the bishop may do as he pleases with the slave; if the slave had been freed, he would have been able to “live there freely according to Romanian law and nobody should dare to remind him of his former slavery (a po holopstvo) or try to enslave him”.27 In 1470, the term “slave” is attested to for the first time, in a document issued by Stephen the Great “to our Tatar and slave (holop) Oană, who fled from Poland”.28 Documents written in the Slavonic language used the term holop for slave. After 1600, in documents written in Romanian, we find the term rob, used initially in parallel with the term of Slavonic origin, only later to replace it altogether. Still, the term şerb / şarbă was also used very frequently in place of holop. Until the second half of the sixteenth century, however, the term rob and its variants were used rarely in Moldavia and not found at all in Wallachian documents. Slaves are indicated almost exclusively by their ethnic origin, either as “Gypsies” or “Tatars” (the latter found only in Moldavia). In the language of the medieval Romanian chancelleries the term “Gypsy” (in Moldavia also “Tatar”) always had in addition to its ethnic sense, a social value, indicating a slave.29

  • 30 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (I), pp. 67–70; Istoria dreptului românesc, vol. I, Bucharesţ 1980, pp. 486 (...)

23Slaves formed a separate category within the social organisation of the Romanian principalities. They made up the lowest rung of the subjugated classes. What defines their social condition is not the absence of personal freedom, since in feudal society the serfs (known as rumâni in Wallachia, vecini in Moldavia and iobagi in Transylvania) were also subjugated, but the fact that they had no status as legal persons. The slave was wholly the property of his master, figuring among his personal property. The master could do as he pleased with the slave: he could put him to work, he could sell him or exchange him for some other good, he could use him as payment for a debt or he could mortgage or bequeath him. The possessions of the slave (consisting mainly of cattle) were also at the discretion of the master. Masters were constantly abusing their rights as slaves could at any time be punished with a beating or with prison without the need for the intervention of the state authorities. The master did not however, have the power of life and death over the slave. His sole obligation was to clothe and feed those slaves who worked at his manor. The master was in no way responsible for those slaves who wandered the countryside in order to earn a living, paying the master an established sum of money.30

  • 31 DRH, A, II, pp. 239–241.
  • 32 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (II), p. 43.

24In the Romanian principalities there was a slaves’ law. It is mentioned in the Moldavian document of 1470 in which Stephen the Great frees Oană, a Tatar slave who had fled from Poland, as well as his children from slavery. The prince freed them from the obligations that resulted from one’s status as a slave: “let them never pay anything according to the law of the slaves and the Tatars (holopskym[i], tatarskym[i] pravom[i])”; they would be allowed to live in the country “as do all Romanians according to Romanian law (voloskym[i] zakonomi)”.31 Romanian law and slaves’ law were two different entities. Slaves had their own legal status that was different from that of the Romanian population. Slaves’ law consisted of a number of norms that referred chiefly to the obligations of slaves to their master and to the State, to the punishments they were liable to if they failed to fulfil their obligations or if they were found guilty of any crime, as well as the authorities that were put in place to judge them. There were equally norms that regulated relations between slaves and freemen, as well as the authorities that assured that the norms were respected.32 Slaves’ law is an ancient institution, which dates from before the foundation of the Romanian states.

  • 33 For the old legislation with regard to slaves used in the Romanian principalitieş see I. Peretz, C (...)
  • 34 For their contenţ ibid., pp. 315–440; J. Peretz, Robia, pp. 83–119.

25Slavery in all its forms falls under common law. For a long time, there were no written laws relating to slaves. When later on in Wallachia and Moldavia there appeared a tendency to invoke Byzantine law, the provisions of Byzantine legislation were adopted with regard to slaves. The large number of Greek and Slavonic texts of legal nature with regard to slaves in Wallachia and Moldavia33 is an indicator of the importance attached to the harmonisation of the de facto situation with the canons of Byzantine law. Legislative documents printed in Romanian in the mid-seventeenth century—namely the Pravila de la Govora (Law Book of Govora) of 1640 (in Wallachia) and the two legal codeŞ Vasile Lupu’s 1646 Cartea românească de învăţătură (Romanian Book of Teachings) (Moldavia) and Matei Basarab’s 1652 Îndreptarea legii (Improvment of the Law) (Wallachia)— record the legal norms mostly of Byzantine origin but also with some norms that came under common law in use up until then, relating to slaves.34 In practice, however, the status of slaves was dependent exclusively on common law. Official documents relating to slaves issued by the Prince Chancellery or by other state institutions including those of legal nature, always make reference to customary laws (the “tradition of the land”), not to the written law of Byzantine inspiration.

  • 35 DRH, A, I, p. 23 (31 October 1402, Moldavia); DRH, B, I, pp. 201–202 (5 March 1458, Wallachia).

26The obligations incumbent on the Gypsies were fixed by tradition. Official documents enable us to gain a more intimate knowledge of the obligations that princely Gypsies had to the State, their mode of organisation, the exemptions and the other privileges from which the different categories of princely Gypsies benefited. Private slaves were in principle exempt from any obligations to the State. We find that in the fifteenth century, both in Moldavia and Wallachia, it was forbidden for princely officials to impose royal service on private slaves.35 Princes would make reference to such provisions whenever they gave confirmation of previous awards of slaves or at the request of their masters. On some occasions however, the Crown, in search of fresh sources of revenue, sought to impose at least partially on private Gypsies the same regime as that applied to princely Gypsies. At least from the first half of the seventeenth century, if not from the second half of the previous century, we find that slaves belonging to monasteries and boyars’ estates are also obliged to pay certain taxes and carry out certain tasks for the State. In Moldavia, we find them paying tax as early as the1620s. Later on, still more obligations were imposed upon them: they were obliged to pay tithes on beehives (desetină de stupi) and on boar (goştină de mascuri) (if they owned such goods), to place post horses (cai de olac) at the disposition of the Crown and provide transport (podvoadă)

  • * Desetinǎ de stupi, goştinǎ de mascuri and mucarer were all taxes that those subject to tax were re (...)
  • 36 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 70–76.
  • 37 See G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni, pp. 69–71; N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 73–74.

27* (if they had horses), to pay the mucarer, to carry out certain labour tasks for State etc.36 These petty obligations were numerous and varied from era to era. Freemen and princely Gypsies were required to carry them out unconditionally, while private Gypsies carried them out only on in exceptional cases. Furthermore, when the obligations were applied to private Gypsies the slaves of some monasteries and boyars could be exempted from carrying them out by special deed issued by the Crown. Such obligations were not only a heavy burden for the slaves but also for their masters who were in fact responsible for ensuring that their slaves carried out their obligations. There are many cases where the increased exploitation of Gypsy slaves resulted in the fleeing of Gypsies from one estate to another or even from one country to another. The most radical measure of this kind was the introduction of ţigănărit (Gypsy tax) in Moldavia at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It was introduced by Nicolae Mavrocordat probably in 1711, as an exceptional tax “for the needs of the country”, and was abolished in 1714. Mihail Racovita reapplied it in 1725, but withdrew it as a result of the intervention of the boyars and the monasteries. Under the terms of the tax, boyars and monasteries were required to pay two ducats for each Gypsy in their possession.37 In fact the tax was an extension to all the Gypsies of the dajdie (tax) paid by princely Gypsies.

  • 38 See below pp. 61–62.

28There were special officials appointed to supervise the princely Gypsies. In time, a network of princely officials was organised on a hierarchical and territorial basis which dealt with every aspect of relations between the Gypsies and the State and those between the Gypsies and the inhabitants of the country. Special officials collected the taxes owed by the Gypsies to the Crown.38

  • 39 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (II), pp. 43–52; Istoria dreptului românesc, loc. cit.

29Disputes that arose among the Gypsies with the exception of manslaughter cases were dealt with by their leaders: village leaders sheriffs and Gypsy leaders. The master and his clerks in the case of boyars’ and monastery Gypsies and the special officials in the case of princely Gypsies were invested with the power to punish and fine Gypsies. Cases of manslaughter and disputes between Gypsies and other inhabitants of the country fell under the jurisdiction of the state judiciary. Slaves found to be counterfeiting money and those who committed crimes out of the ordinary were judged by the State Council itself. Slaves did not have the right to defend themselves before a tribunal and at the same time they could not be held legally responsible for damages caused to freemen, for which their masters were accountable. However, as part of the compensation they were required to pay, masters could renounce their ownership of the guilty slaves in favour of the injured party. If a slave killed a slave belonging to another owner, as a rule the killer, although condemned to death, was not executed but given in exchange for the dead slave. The decision to annul the implementation of capital punishment was taken by the prince with the approval of the family of the deceased. Owners of slaves did not have the right to punish their slaves by putting them to death. Generally speaking, any free person who killed slaves with premeditation was liable to receive the death penalty. Such cases were judged by the country’s supreme court and presided over by the prince. There are, however, no known cases in which a boyar who killed one of his slaves suffered the same punishment. In cases where a master killed somebody else’s slave, the former offered the injured party a slave in place of the one he had killed.39

  • 40 Carte românească de învăţătură. Ediţie critică, Bucharesţ 1961, p. 68.

30Generally speaking, the law was lenient on Gypsies. The law book of Vasile Lupu made the following provision: “If a Gypsy, his wife or his offspring should steal once, twice or three times a hen, goose or other small thing, the theft shall be forgiven: if they should steal again, they shall be punished as would common thieves.”40 The explanation for this state of affairs lies of course not only in the fact that the slave has no legal status but also in the large number of crimes that took place among this marginal social category, as the application of those punishments resulting in imprisonment or execution to which the slaves were subject was not in the interest of their feudal masters. The work provided by the slave was as a first or last resort addressed to his master.

  • 41 For the problem of the marriage of slaves see B. Th. Scurtulencu, op. cit., pp. 19– 26; N. Grigora (...)
  • 42 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 45–46.

31Slaves were allowed to marry, but only with the approval of their master.41 In cases of marriage between Gypsies belonging to two separate masters the Gypsies were required to obtain the approval of both masters. In most cases a preliminary financial settlement was agreed by the two masters: under the terms of such an agreement it was settled that either one master purchased from the other the Gypsy set to move to his estate as a result of the marriage, or a compensatory exchange of slaves would be carried out in which the master providing another slave of equal value in exchange for the Gypsy he was to obtain. Marriages performed without the prior approval of the masters were common. Particularly those cases involving a princely Gypsy and a Gypsy from a boyar’s estate or a monastery were recorded in contemporary documents. If in such situations an arrangement could not be reached, the two Gypsies were separated by force by their owners and the children resulting from the marriage were divided between the owners without parental approval.42

  • 43 Gh. I. Brătianu, “Două veacuri de la reforma lui Constantin Mavrocordat 1746– 1946”, Analele Acade (...)

32Such situations were commonplace. In the eighteenth century, modifications were applied to the ancient law. The resolution of cases of marriage between Gypsies belonging to different masters was no longer left to the discretion of their masters. The indissolubility of marriage was decreed regardless of the conditions under which it was contracted. The “establishment” of Constantin Mavrocordat of March 1743 in Moldavia forbade owners of slaves from separating married Gypsies belonging to different masters. In such situations the masters were only allowed either to divide up the children resulting from the marriage or to carry out a compensatory exchange for the Gypsy (or Gypsy woman) and the children to which the respective parties were entitled.43

33This first intercession into the old tradition relating to slavery was the work of the Phanariot ruler Constantin Mavrocordat who, in the spirit of the age, introduced both in Moldavia and Wallachia a series of reforms that aimed at ensuring the social, administrative and fiscal modernisation of the principalities. The most important of these reforms was the one that abolished serfdom in Wallachia in 1746 and in Moldavia in 1749, giving the peasants back their freedom. As for the status of slaves the modifications carried out at this time were limited to the problem of marriage.

  • 44 T. Codrescu, Uricariul, vol. I, 2nd ed., IaŞi, 1871, pp. 320–327.
  • 45 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 64–66.

34The same regulations were applied in both principalities. Subsequent laws made strict provision for the way in which owners of slaves were to carry out transfers of slaves. The Sobornicescul hrisov (Ecumenical Charter) of 1785 (Moldavia) established a fixed price for such transfers: fifty lei for a Gypsy woman and seventy lei for a Gypsy man. A slave skilled in a particular trade, however, was worth more, as to the price per person was added the “price for the trade of the Gypsy or Gypsy woman”. Likewise, it was no longer permitted for children to be taken from their parents. It was compulsory for those children to whom in theory the master was entitled to be bought back by the master who retained the family. Children over the age of sixteen were paid for like adults while those under the age of sixteen were worth half price.44 It was at this time that the principle that the family was to remain whole was established. Gypsy slaves acquired the right not to have their families split up, that is to say that they acquired the right for children not to be donated or sold separately from their parents nor siblings to be donated or sold separately from one another.45

  • 46 Gh. I. Brătianu, loc. cit.
  • 47 I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român, vol. IV, Hrisoavele domnesti, Bucharest 1931, pp. 47–5 (...)
  • 48 B. Th. Scurtulencu, op. cit., pp. 25–26.
  • 49 Ibid., pp. 24–25.

35The most important new element to be introduced in the eighteenth century was that regarding mixed marriages (i.e., a Gypsy with a Romanian woman or a Romanian with a Gypsy woman). Until then, the rule had been that by marrying a slave, the free husband would also enter into the state of slavery, together with children born out of their union. The “establishment” of Constantin Mavrocordat stipulated that a Romanian man or woman who married a Gypsy could no longer be made a slave. The freeman retained the social status he or she held before the marriage, while the slave remained a slave. Children born out of their union were to be free.46 It appears that in the period immediately before the adoption of this measure, mixed marriages were fairly frequent. For the boyars mixed marriages were a means of increasing the number of slaves. For the State, however, mixed marriages represented a loss with the peasant transformed into a slave becoming exempt from the payment of tax and other public obligations. For this reason, we believe that the relinquishing of the common law that allowed the enslavement of Romanians was also done for fiscal reasons. In Wallachia, the measure was respected, but in Moldavia opposition from the boyars to this innovation led to the gradual restricting of its scope and finally to its abandonment. In 1766, such marriages were outlawed, with priests prevented from officiating at such weddings. In cases where such a marriage did take place, the spouses were to be separated. The children of such marriages however, “remained among the Moldavians”, i.e. free.47 The Sobornicescul hrisov (Ecumenical Charter) of 1785 completely outlawed marriages between Moldavians and Gypsies and declared such marriages to be invalid. Children born out of such marriages were considered to be Gypsies. This meant a return to the “centuries-long tradition” of the pasŢ in other wordŞ to the annulment of the reform. In Moldavia, the phenomenon of enslavement through marriage continued to exist until a late stage. In Wallachia, the Pravilniceasca Condică (Legal Register) of 1780 stipulated that marriages between Gypsy men and free women were immediately split up, and the children born out of their union became freemen.48 In the final years of slavery, the Organic Regulations introduced in the two principalities in the years 1831–32 had a similar content when it came to the matter of marrying slaves. Marriages between freemen and slaves were forbidden. A freeman who married a Gypsy woman without knowing her to be so was allowed to buy back her freedom. The same applied to a Romanian woman married with a Gypsy. Any person who married a Gypsy in full knowledge of what they were doing was required to pay the price of the Gypsy woman to the alms-house. Children from such marriages were free.49

  • 50 For free Gypsies see G. Potra, Contributiuni, pp. 43–44, 59–62; N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 36 (...)
  • 51 See A. D. Xenopol, Istoria românilor din Dacia traiană, vol. III, Iasi, 1890, pp. 194, 216–218, 48 (...)
  • 52 N. Iorga, “Originea lui Ştefan Răzvan”, Analele Academiei Romăne, Memoriile Secţiunii Istorice, s. (...)
  • 53 See Gh. T. Ionescu, op. cit., pp. 162–166.

36The reverse phenomenon, of release from slavery, also existed. In certain situations for example for particular services carried out during the life of the master or after his death through his testament the master could “release” a slave from slavery. The latter would thus obtain personal freedom and joined the ranks of Romanians. As freemen, these Gypsies could own land, while in towns they could own property. There were numerous cases of Gypsies who ended up selling themselves to a boyar or to a monastery in order to escape punishment to escape their debts or to avoid dying of starvation. 50 Even if medieval documents provide us with sufficient examples of free Gypsies release from slavery was carried out only in exceptional circumstances. Only towards the middle of the nineteenth century, in the conditions of the appearance of a new attitude towards slavery and the abolitionist movement did gestures of this nature become relatively common. One of the princes of Moldova, Ştefan Răzvan, was himself of Gypsy origin. 51 In a text originating from Michael the Brave,52 we learn that Răzvan was the son of a princely slave woman from Wallachia. He managed to become a boyar, was sent in delegation to Constantinople, became hetman in the Cossack and Polish armies and finally occupied the throne of Moldavia for a short period of time (April to August 1595). The rise of Ştefan Răzvan is indicative of the social mobility that existed in the Romanian society, where some slaves could obtain their freedom and in exceptional cases could accede to the status of nobles and obtain high positions. At the end of the eighteenth century, regulations regarding the way in which slave owners could carry out the release of their slaves were introduced, as in the case of the Sobornicescul hrisov of 1785. In Wallachia, release from slavery was also carried out through marriage. A slave married to a freewoman with her knowledge and with the permission of his master (including verbal permission) would become a freeman and the marriage would not be annulled, while their children would also remain free.53

  • 54 See these texts in I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român,IV, Hrisoavele domneŞti, pp. 169–216
  • 55 “[…] the slave is not reckoned completely to be like an objecţ where his deeds rights and obligati (...)
  • 56 I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român, IV, Hrisoavele domnes,ti, p. 49.

37The new elements that appeared in the regulations relating to slavery in the eighteenth century referred almost exclusively to instances of marriage and the social consequence of such marriages. Collections of laws of the Phanariot rulers from the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, namely the Pravilniceasca Condică (Legal Register) of Alexandru Ipsilanti (1780) and the Legiuirea Caragea (Caragea Legislation) (1818) in Wallachia, the legal code compiled by Andronache Donici in 1814 and the Condica civilă a Principatului Moldovei (Legal register of the Principality of Moldavia) (also known under the name of Codul Callimach) (Callimach Code) (1817) in Moldavia, all contain special chapters relating to slaves. 54 Influenced by Western laws these legal codes attempted to introduce certain elements of natural law into the treatment of slavery. Codul Callimach speaks of slavery as being “against the natural law of man”, but the institution is justified by the fact that it has been followed since ancient times. The code tries to define a modern concept of slavery. 55 In essence, however, slavery did not undergo modification. The State did not intervene in relations between master and slave. In any case, slavery as an institution could not be reformed. It remained as such until abolition. Nor were the restriction of nomadism and the settling of the Gypsies who wandered the countryside of concern to lawmakers in this new era. Nevertheless in accordance with the Enlightenment a new spirit had begun to manifest itself, which, if it did not question the institution of slavery itself, tended to regard slaves as human beings. The arguments of the Metropolitanate and the bishops of Moldavia in 1766, when it was forbidden for families of Gypsies to be split up, are indicative of this new spirit: “if they are Gypsies being part of God’s creation, they can by no means be shared out as if animals”. 56 A parallel can be drawn between this attitude and certain initiatives undertaken by enlightened members of the church linked to the conversion of groups of nomads to Christianity.

4. THE SOCIAL AND LEGAL SITUATION OF THE GYPSIES IN TRANSYLVANIA

  • 57 There is a work devoted to this subject which should, however, be treated with caution: A. Gebora, (...)

38With regard to the situation of the Gypsies during the Middle Ages in Transylvania,57—a Romanian province then belonging to the medieval King-dom of Hungary, becoming an autonomous principality in the midsixteenth century only to pass under the dominion of the Habsburg Empire at the end of the seventeenth century—their social and legal status was marked by the manner in which the Gypsies appeared in the region and by the regional specificities that prevailed there.

  • 58 See above p. 14.
  • 59 In 1441, the boyar Stanciu Moenescul of Voila received confirmation of ownership of his Gypsies Ma (...)
  • 60 See D. Prodan, Boieri Şi vecini în Ţara Făgăraşului în sec. xvi–xvii, in Din istoria Transilvaniei (...)
  • 61 I. Puscariu, Fragmente istorice despre boierii din Ţara FăgăraŞului, Sibiu, 1907, pp. 416–422.

39We have already seen that the first evidence of the presence of the Gypsies in Transylvania, which originates from the official records of Wallachia, refers to the land of Făgăraş, where around the year 1400 a boyar was recorded as being in possession of several villages and seventeen Gypsies dwelling in tents.58 This area, which borders Wallachia, was for a long time (from the second half of the fourteenth century until the end of the fifteenth century) under the control of the prince of Wallachia, who held the title of fief there. As a consequence of its being part of Wallachia and the perpetuation of the old Romanian mode of organisation there, the social institutions in Făgăraş were identical to those in Wallachia, i.e. the Gypsies were the slaves of the boyars of Făgăraş. In the fifteenth century, the princes of Wallachia confirmed the dominion of the boyars of Făgăraş over the Gypsies in their possession.59 The slavery of the Gypsies in Făgăraş continued as a legacy of Wallachian rule even after reincorporating of the region into the Transylvanian voivodate (later principality). Transylvanian documents attest to this special social regime in force in Făgăraş that differed from the rest of the country until the end of the seventeenth century with the establishment of Habsburg rule.60 For example, in 1556 Queen Isabella issued confirmation of the possessions of the boyars in Recea, which included several families of Gypsies. Mihály Apafi, prince of Transylvania, confirms the deed later on, in 1689.61

  • 62 Documente privind istoria României, A, Moldova, veac XVI, vol. I, BucharesŢ 1953, p. 409.
  • 63 See N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), p. 37.

40There are also indicators that the Gypsies were also enslaved in regions of Transylvania that were temporarily under the authority of the princes of Moldavia in the Middle Ages. For example, Petru Rares purchased from the mayor of Bistriţa, a family of Gypsies composed of husband, wife and six children for fifty Hungarian florins and a horse.62 There are also cases of Moldavian boyars purchasing slaves from Transylvania.63

  • 64 Hurmuzaki, XV/1, p. 152.
  • 65 Maja Philippi, op. cit., pp. 142–143.

41It appears that the Gypsies of Bran Castle also had the status of slaves. They are mentioned for the first time only in 1500, when the king of Hungary, Vladislav II, ordered the voivode of Transylvania to prevent his civil servants from arresting or judging Gypsies (certi Egiptii seu Cigani) who ab antiquo belonged to Bran Castle as only the castellan had the right to do so.64 From a list of the castle’s accounts from 1504, we learn that the obligations of the Gypsies to the castellan consisted in the annual payment of a money tax and in certain services. It appears that King Vladislav II subjugated the Gypsies to the town of Braşov in 1498 together with the award of Bran Castle. In this way, they became the town’s serfs. The rights over them formerly held by the castellan at Bran Castle were passed to the town.65 How can we explain the fact that Bran Castle owned Gypsies a case that was unique both in Transylvania and the other Romanian lands? Bran Castle, built in 1377, was ceded by King Sigismund of Luxembourg to Mircea the Old, prince of Wallachia, probably in 1406. It remained in the possession of Wallachia until 1419. It is possible that the attention paid by the Wallachian prince to the castle, which controlled the main route into Transylvania and which held an important strategic and commercial role, could have manifested itself by an award (or awards) of Gypsies. These Gypsies were undoubtedly princely slaves who had been allocated to the castle and placed under the direct control of the castellan. The 1500 Gypsies owned by Bran Castle at the beginning of the sixteenth century is unusually large. When the castle and its estate were awarded to Braşov, the Gypsy slaves found themselves under the authority of the town. The social status accorded to the Gypsies under their new masters was that of serfs in line with the social system in place in Transylvania at the time. Their de facto situation, however, their dependence and regime of obligations remained unchanged in comparison with the period of Wallachian dominion in Bran.

  • 66 Hurmuzaki, I/2, p. 527.
  • 67 A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 13–14.

42A small part of the Gypsies from medieval Transylvania lived under conditions of slavery. The majority of them were a kind of “royal serfs”, directly dependent on the king. It was the king who accorded to different groups of Gypsies the freedom to live in the country, while the only obligations imposed on them were those they had to the Crown: they were required to pay certain taxes and to provide certain services for the State. The first deed relating to the Gypsies issued by the royal authorities in Transylvania is a grant of 1422 in which King Sigismund grants the voivode Vladislav the right to travel the country freely with his band of Gypsies.66 It would appear that the legal status that would for a long time apply to the Gypsies in the voivodate of Transylvania and the later in the Transylvanian principality was established during the reign of Sigismund. That is they were placed under the protection of the Crown. In the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, with a few exceptions the Gypsies were not the possession of any feudal master, whether secular or religious. Their admission to and settlement on private estates was done solely with the approval of the king. Thus in 1476 King Matthias Corvinus granted permission for the town of Sibiu to make use of Gypsies living on the edge of town for labour where required.67

  • 68 Ibid.

43The status of the Gypsies was quite distinct from that of the rest of the population. In fact the Gypsies had the status of one of the autonomous ethnic groups that existed in the kingdom at that time. It is significant that they were not placed under the jurisdiction of the authorities; instead they were allowed to remain under the authority of their leaders known as “voivodes”. In theory, the authorities did not have power over the Gypsies who were directly dependent on the king. In the deed of 1476, Matthias Corvinus ordered that voivodes and deputy voivodes should not dare to attempt to take the Gypsies settled in Sibiu under their jurisdiction, leaving them instead under the jurisdiction of the town.68 The grants to the Gypsies are a constant reminder of this exceptional situation. They attest to the Gypsies’ freedom to travel the country freely, to sojourn on lands belonging to the Crown, the internal autonomy of the bands of Gypsies the regime of obligations to the State (fewer than those of the sedentary population), the absence of military obligations the authorities’ tolerance of the Gypsies’ non-adherence to Christianity. All of the above made up a system of wideranging privileges that functioned in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary until its collapse with the occupation of Buda by the Ottomans in 1541, and which even continued to function after this time in the autonomous Transylvanian principality.

  • 69 See below pp. 63–64.
  • 70 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în secolul al XVI-lea, vol. I, Bucharesţ 1967, p. 415.

44In the sixteenth century, in Transylvania a Gypsy voivodeship was created, an authority led by a noble holding the title of voivode. The voivode held fiscal, judicial and administrative responsibilities and managed all aspects of the Gypsies’ relations with the State.69 The Gypsies were a source of revenues to the State. Under the Transylvanian principality, each tentdwelling Gypsy was required to pay a qualification of one florin—fifty dinars on Saint George’s day (24 April) and fifty dinars on Saint Michael’s day (29 September)—at the headquarters of the county in which he was then staying, while the money was collected by a civil servant in the service of the Gypsies’ voivode.70 During this period a serf was required to pay a qualification of two florins per year. At the time, society was tolerant towards the nomadic lifestyle of the Gypsies while craftsmen, especially blacksmiths were integrated in the rural economy of the time. The Crown had a vested interest of a fiscal nature in the existence of these social–ethnic categories hence the preoccupation that their status as “royal serfs” be maintained.

45While the different groups of nomadic Gypsies benefited from the aforementioned privileges a part of the Gypsies of Transylvania with time settled into a sedentary lifestyle, settling on some nobles’ estates in villages of serfs or at the edges of free villages and towns. In both cases the respective Gypsies lost their privileges if not at once, then after a relatively short period of time. The Gypsies who settled on the nobles’ estates became serfs or landless peasants while those who settled in towns and Saxon villages preserved their personal freedom, living as second-class inhabitants on the edges of those localities. The process of linguistic and cultural assimilation took place more particularly in the case of Gypsies settled in villages of serfs and less so in the towns and the Saxon villages.

5. THE POSITION OF THE GYPSIES IN THE ECONOMY OF THE ROMANIAN LANDS

  • 71 P. N. Panaitescu, “Le Rˆole économique”, p. 936.
  • 72 Ibid., pp. 938–940.

46P. N. Panaitescu, the author of a study that looks specifically at this problem, considered that “the history of the Gypsies in Wallachia and Moldavia forms part of the economic history of the two principalities”.71 He shows that the Gypsies acquired an important role in the Romanian economy after the era of economic prosperity of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (when the Romanian principalities participated to the full as transit countries on the East-West trade routes linking Europe to the Black Sea and the East) had come to an end following the occupation by the Ottomans of the Romanian ports on the Danube and the Black Sea in 1484 and 1540. The ensuing economic transformations led to the disappearance of the great farms. These great estates needed craftsmen of all kinds. Since there were no Romanian craftsmen, while the foreign craftsmen who had come to the principalities together with the East-West trade of the previous centuries had disappeared along with the decline of the trade, the Gypsies were a welcome source of skilled labour. They had been craftsmen since ancient times and possessed the extra advantage of being able to adapt quickly to the economic needs of the country. Panaitescu draws a connection between the Gypsies’ status as slaves and the boyars’ interest in guaranteeing a supply of this precious source of labour, thereby preventing their flight from the principalities. In this way, the great estates are shown to have been the cause of slavery.72

  • 73 I. St. Raicewich, Bemerkungen über die Moldau und Wallachey in Rücksicht auf Geschichte, Naturprod (...)

47This theory is debatable from several points of view. However, there is no doubt that the function performed by the Gypsies in the Middle Ages in the Romanian lands is that of craftsmen, especially in the principalities. As in the entire Central and Eastern European area, town dwellers and craftsmen were originally overwhelmingly of foreign ethnic stock. In Wallachia and Moldavia, the history of the oldest towns is linked to the communities of German craftsmen and merchants who settled to the south and the east of the Carpathians at the end of the thirteenth century and during the fourteenth century. Romanian society, an agricultural society par excellence, was in need of foreign craftsmen. At the same time, there were also Romanian craftsmen. A little later on, even in the urban centres initially populated by foreigners the vast majority of craftsmen and merchants were Romani-ans. In the villages a relatively broad range of crafts had always been practised on the farmsteads whilst in some regions there were villages specialised in a particular craft. The Gypsies who arrived from the south of the Danube added to the numbers of craftsmen present in the country. They were specialised (or became specialised) in crafts that could not be provided by rural Romanian craftsmen. Filling in this absence they were thus able to find a purpose in their new homeland. In the second half of the eighteenth century, an observer of the contemporary situation in Moldavia and Wallachia commented that here “all the mechanical crafts are in the hands of the Gypsies or of foreigners from neighbouring countries”.73

  • 74 I. Chelcea, Ţiganii din România. Monografie etnografică, BucharesŢ 1944, p. 102.

48Documentary information enables us to gain a better understanding of the occupations of the Gypsies especially in the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. There is a paucity of information of this kind for the first centuries of the Gypsies’ presence in the Romanian principalities. We can suppose that over time an evolution took place in this field, with different groups of Gypsies adapting to situations that existed in different periods leading eventually to the accentuation of the differentiation in their occupations. Generally speaking, however, the bands of Gypsies preserved their characteristic pursuits for a long time, with this situation continuing in some cases almost until the present day. A general characteristic among the Gypsies was the passing of a craft from generation to generation within a family. Furthermore, crafts did not pass from one clan (or category) to another, but remained within that particular clan. It is for this reason that observers have spoken of the division of the Gypsies into “natural guilds”.74

  • 75 Cf. Şt. Bezdechi, “Christian Schesaeus despre români”, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie Naţională, (...)
  • 76 “Dans la Valaquie, la forge este l’unique occupation des Bohémiens” (Ch. de Peyssonnel, Observatio (...)
  • 77 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (II), p. 67.

49The Gypsies’ preferred craft was that of blacksmith. Throughout the Middle Ages on the Romanian territories the working of iron was an occupation reserved almost exclusively for them. The oldest literary reference to the presence of the Gypsies the Ruinae Pannonicae by Christian Schesaeus published in 1571, alludes to this occupation of the Gypsies.75 Foreigners familiar with Romanian realities constantly attributed the profession of blacksmith to the GypsieŞ such as Charles de Peyssonnel in 1765.76 The production, whether for the boyars’ estates for peasants or for the State, of tools made of iron—horseshoes nails even armour—was one of the chief occupations of the Gypsies. There were certain categories of Gypsies who specialised in this occupation. The lăieşi, who wandered the countryside, were exclusively engaged in this occupation until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The ursari also produced small objects from iron such as knives axes and locks. Slaves working as blacksmiths were indispensable to any feudal economy and they existed in quite large numbers.77

  • 78 M. Block, Die materielle Kultur der rumänischen Zigeuner. Versuch einer monographischen Darstellun (...)

50Some Gypsy blacksmiths practised their craft either in workshops at their master’s residence or elsewhere on his estate, or in the towns in workshops that belonged to themselves. The majority of them, however, were itinerants moving from place to place and working with rudimentary tools. Bands of Gypsy blacksmiths whether princely, boyars’ or monastery Gypsies wandered throughout the country plying their trade. A band, or more probably a family or two, would stop for a time in a village and carry out either in exchange for goods or money, all the iron work requested from them and sell the iron goods that they produced during their stay there. The Gypsies would regularly return to the village, and in time some would settle on the edge of the village where they would set up their workshop. Initially, they would build a shelter and then later a house of the kind built by the villagers. However, Gypsy families’ transition to a sedentary way of life in the villages only took place at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when there was an increasing need for their services and when the authorities actually encouraged the process. Ethnographic research carried out in the first half of the twentieth century found that in the former principalities there was not a single peasant farmstead that did not own pieces of ironwork produced by Gypsies.78 As a consequence of their monopoly in this field, “Gypsy” came to mean “blacksmith” in the Romanian villages.

  • 79 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 68–69.
  • 80 Aurora Ilies, “Ştiri în legătură cu exploatarea sării în Ţara Românească pânăîn veacul al XVIII-le (...)

51There were also Gypsy locksmiths knife makers and sword makers coppersmiths and goldsmiths. Among the crafts practised by the Gypsies there is also reference to the manufacture of sieves stone working, brickmaking, the production of spoons and saddles pottery and milling. There were also Gypsy slaves who worked as cobblers harness makers cooks innkeepers etc.79 Gypsies were used to extract salt in salt mines namely at Ocnele Mari, the largest salt mines in Wallachia. From the time of Mircea the Old until almost the mid-eighteenth century, salt extraction at Ocnele Mari was carried out by Gypsy salt miners slaves of the monasteries of Cozia and Govora. Later on, they were joined by workers recruited from among the peasantry. Slaves from the two monasteries worked there until emancipation. They were paid wages in return for their labour, like free workers.80 There were also other occupations that fell to the slaves to perform.

  • 81 Maja Philippi, op. cit., pp. 143–145.
  • 82 A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 13–14.
  • 83 Ibid., p. 29.
  • 84 Ibid.

52Gypsy craftsmen were also present in the towns. Some lived at the residence of their master or in the Gypsy quarter of the monastery. Others even though they were slaves had their own homestead and made a living from a particular craft. In Wallachian and Moldavian towns there existed a certain division of labour between the Gypsies and craftsmen of Romanian or other origin organised into guilds. Meanwhile, Gypsies living in towns in Transylvania had a well-defined role in the life of the town. From the tax records of Braşov from the sixteenth century, for example, we learn that Gypsies were required to provide certain services to the town, such as repairing the gates of the town as well as its roads the manufacture of weapons including cannons keeping the streets clean, sweeping the market place and emptying sewers and latrines. They provided the town with its gravediggers dogcatchers and executioners.81 In Sibiu, the Gypsies settled at the edge of town performed different tasks and services as ordered by the town and were responsible for taking letters to their destination. From an order issued by Matthias Corvinus in 1487, we find that the Gypsies of Sibiu were obliged to carry out certain tasks to help with the defence of the town.82 In some Transylvanian towns over time it happened that the activities of the Gypsies came to affect the craftsmen who belonged to the town guilds. In Braşov in the years 1685–86, it was forbidden for the Gypsies to own sheep and they were deprived of the right to engage in commerce. The only activities permitted to them were horse-trading, the manufacture of nails and minor repair work.83 Such measures undertaken to protect other craftsmen from Gypsy craftsmen were not however, introduced everywhere. In 1689, the Transylvanian Diet introduced a new tax for Gypsy craftsmen, more specifically for Gypsy blacksmiths working with their own tools and for Gypsies working as gold-washers. They were required to pay fifty dinars per person (in the case of gold-washers the sum was added to a special tax that they paid).84

53Skilled slaves were very much in demand by princes boyars and the monasteries. Since the Gypsies had a natural predisposition for craftsmanship, certain of their masters actually attached them as apprentices to master craftsmen. The Gypsies did not only practice crafts where they were regarded as having a kind of monopoly. In the last years of slavery, the boyars even used slaves in the new professions that were appearing at the time. Young Gypsies became proficient in their profession from a master craftsman, either on an estate or in the town. They became the cheapest craftsmen at the disposal of their owners. Similarly, the Gypsies also provided labour for private manufacturing enterprises in Moldavia and Wallachia. In the nineteenth century, we find that the activity of slave craftsmen is regulated and that the slaves are incorporated into guilds that were already in existence at the time. Gypsy craftsmen occupied a well-defined role in the economy of the principalities. Without doubt they constituted a source of wealth for the country.

  • 85 V. Costăchel, P. P. Panaitescu, A. Cazacu, op. cit., pp. 152–153.
  • 86 DRH, B, I, p. 275.
  • 87 D. C. Giurescu, Ţara Românească în secolele XIV–XV, BucharesŢ 1973, pp. 259–260.
  • 88 Miron Costin, Istoria în versuri polone despre Moldova ŞiŢara Românească (1684), translated by P. (...)
  • 89 Călători străini despre ţările române, II, p. 322.

54It was undoubtedly at a later stage that Gypsies took up occupations in agriculture. Moreover, these occupations never played an important role. It has been maintained that on the boyars’ estates alongside the slaves employed at the boyar’s residence, there was also a category of agricultural slaves used in the fields and in the rearing of cattle that existed from the fifteenth century.85 However, it has been demonstrated that the only document that can be cited in this sense—a document from 1480 in which there appears the village “Golesti and its Gypsies” (sixteen families)86—does not justify such a conclusion.87 The appearance in the sixteenth century of the large feudal estates specialised in the production of grain destined for Istanbul led to the use of Gypsy slaves in various forms in this kind of work, especially where there were acute labour shortages. Miron Costin states that rich inhabitants (boyars) of lower Moldavia worked the land with “purchased Gypsies”.88 In Transylvania, Giovanandrea Gromo shows that in 1564 the Szeklers were using Gypsies to work the land.89 Generally speaking, on estates that owned Gypsies the Gypsies made up an auxiliary labour force. Neither the Gypsy slaves on the estates of the boyars and the monasteries in the principalities nor the Gypsy serfs on the nobles’ estates in Transylvania were farmers in the medieval sense of the term, that is to say the owners of a piece of land which they cultivated under a particular regime of obligations to a master and to the State. It was the peasantry who worked exclusively as autonomous farmers. Until their de facto assimilation into the peasantry, which took place later on, even in the first half of the nineteenth century, in most cases the Gypsies were used for certain agricultural tasks that did not require any particular skill. In Wallachia and Moldavia, the boyars and the monasteries did not consider the need for a rational and economically profitable utilisation of their slaves until the era of emancipation. Only then did the slaves forced to adopt a sedentary way of life, find themselves required to embrace agricultural occupations. Previously, the exploitation of the majority of the Gypsies had taken place through the dajdie (tax) they were required to pay to their master, with the Gypsies themselves earning their existence on their own, wandering the country and plying their trades.

  • 90 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), p. 62.

55In the Romanian principalities slaves provided the cheapest and most reliable labour force, their legal status tying them to the estate and their owner. For their masters slaves constituted a source of income. For that reason they were highly sought after. Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the boyar class was engaged in a veritable race to obtain slaves. Boyars would buy slaves whenever the opportunity presented itself.90 The importance of their economic function also resulted from the high prices for which they were traded. An even more important reason for the high price of slaves was the prestige attached to the owning of a large number of slaves in medieval Romanian society.

  • 91 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşiişi ţiganii la sfârşitul veacului al XVIII”, Arhivele Basarabiei, VI (...)
  • 92 Idem, “Ţiganii domnesti, din Moldova, la 1810”, Arhivele Basarabiei, V (1933), no. 2, pp. 1–6. The (...)

56If private slaves generated an income for their master through the labour they provided or through the dajdie they paid, princely slaves paid tax to the state and were also subjected to other obligations. Since their numbers were fairly high, they generated substantial revenues for the Crown. In 1810, the revenue that the State generated from the 3427 families of princely slaves recorded in Wallachia totalled 700,000 thalers 3000 gold ounces and countless payments in kind.91 In Moldavia in 1810, the Crown owned 1878 families of Gypsies. Prior to the Russian occupation of 1806, they generated annual revenues of 25,000 lei. In 1810, after several years’ experience of hiring out Gypsies to private persons who paid up to 125,000 lei for them, obligations were established for the Gypsies whose total value was equal to the latter sum.92

  • 93 For the aurari and their occupation, see in particular C. Şerban, “Contribuţiuni la istoria meşteş (...)

57The gold-washers formed a separate group among the Gypsies. They were skilled in the collection of gold from riverbeds rich in gold-bearing alluvia and diluvia. The technique they used consisted of washing the goldbearing sands which led to the Gypsies being given the name of “goldwashers” in Transylvania (in official documents in Latin the term aurilotores is used, while documents in German use the term Goldwäscher). In Moldavia and Wallachia, they were called aurari and rudari.93 The occupation was undoubtedly learned from the Romanians. Even though goldwashers were above all Gypsies there were also Romanians who were skilled in the washing of gold. In Transylvania, in years of poor harvest some needy peasants who lived close to areas with gold deposits occasion­ally practised this occupation.

  • 94 M. Acker, op. cit., p. 656. One majă = 56 kg.
  • 95 See below p. 77 with note 160.
  • 96 C. Feneşan, op. cit., pp. 59–61.
  • 97 See C. Şerban, op. cit., pp. 131–137.
  • 98 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşii şi ţiganii”, p. 6.

58The entirety of the gold collected in Moldavia, the majority of the gold obtained in Wallachia (there were also Romanian aurari in the counties of Vâlcea and Arges) and a substantial part of the gold of Transylvania were provided by the labours of this population. According to statistics from the year 1813, eight to ten măji of gold were collected from the rivers of Transylvania, while in 1837, seven to eight măji were collected.94 In Transylvania, there were two centres of gold washing, in the gold-bearing area of the Apuseni Mountains and in the area around the town of Sebes. In 1781, in the Transylvanian principality there were 1291 Gypsy families registered as gold-washers.95 In the Banat in 1774 there were 84.5 families registered as being skilled in the washing of gold, a total of 244 people, while in 1801 there were 413 gold washers operating in thirty-eight villages recorded in the whole province.96 In Moldavia and Wallachia, such Gypsies constituted their own special guild of aurari or rudari. They were all princely Gypsies totalling several hundred in each of the two principalities and generated substantial revenues for the Crown.97 In 1810 in Wallachia, the principality’s treasury recorded a hundred Romanian gold miners and 400 Gypsy gold-washers.98

59The authorities showed a special interest towards the Gypsy gold­washers. The revenues generated by the latter were substantial and were made up on the one hand by the tax that the Gypsies paid to the State and on the other hand by the gold that they were obliged to hand over to the tax office at the official price. The State, which had an interest in the continued existence of this group, protected them and instituted a privileged regime for them, under which they were exempted from any public tasks and sometimes also from certain obligations that they were otherwise obliged to pro-vide to the owner of the estate on which they dwelt. In Transylvania from 1747 to 1832, gold-washing Gypsies were organised into their own voivodeship and kept separate from the other Gypsies. In Wallachia and Moldavia there was an official who dealt specially with the gold-washing Gypsies. In the last decades of the eighteenth century and at the beginning of the nineteenth century, both the Habsburg authorities in Transylvania and the Banat and the authorities in Wallachia and Moldavia undertook measures to regulate the activity of the gold-washers establishing their status and their obligations to the State in a more organised manner, as well as the exemptions granted to them.

60These Gypsies led a nomadic way of life. The collection of gold could be carried out only in the warm season. Times of rain and flooding were particularly favourable to gold washing. The washers themselves lived in tents. In autumn and winter, they would as a rule move their tents to the plain or to some other suitable place where they could carry out other activities to earn their existence, such as the production and selling of pots and other objects made of wood. However, the washing of gold was not always a profitable activity. Contemporary reports illustrate the poverty in which these Gypsies lived. In spite of appearances neither was the income they generated for the tax authorities always large. During the nineteenth century, the occupation entered into a decline until it virtually died out in line with the dwindling of the gold deposits and the gradual settling of those Gypsies who practised it into a sedentary way of life.

6. WAY OF LIFE. NOMADISM AND SEDENTARISATION. MARGINALITY

  • 99 I. R. Mircea, op. cit., pp. 863–864.

61During the Middle Ages on the Romanian territory, the Gypsies had their own habitat and social organisation, which differed from those of the Romanian population. The most distinctive feature was the nomadism of the Gypsies. Generally speaking, from the first attestations of the Gypsies in the fourteenth century and also later on, the Gypsies are referred to as living in sălaşe. For example, the Tismana monastery owned forty sălaşe of GypsieŞ the Cozia monastery 300 sălaşe etc. Today, the term sălaş (plural: sălaşe) is usually translated in historical studies as “family”. In the Middle Ages however, the term meant “tent”. In Latin texts Gypsies living in these family units are referred to as Ciganus tentoriatus (tent-dwelling Gypsy), clearly expressing the contemporary understanding of the term. This understanding of the term as an improvised and mobile shelter exists even today in some regions of the country. The word is of Turkic origin, and can be found in the neighbouring Slavonic languages as well as in Hungarian. It is an inheritance from the peoples of the steppe, who dwelt in this type of accommodation. Gypsy sălaşe as referred to in Romanian medieval documents were tents in which dwelt one or more families of Gypsies.99 The inhabita­tion of these mobile shelters was linked to the nomadic way of life of the Gypsies. In the first centuries of the Gypsies’ residence on the Romanian territories almost all Gypsies led a nomadic way of life. The condition of slavery and belonging to a master, whether to the Crown or to a monastery or boyar, were not obstacles to the continuation of this way of life.

  • 100 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 72–73.

62The occupations practised by the Gypsies made it possible for their nomadic lifestyle to survive for a long period of time. The Gypsies were not farmers. Until late on, official documents that make reference to the occupations of slaves and the observations of foreign travellers in the Romanian countries make a clear distinction between the majority population of the country and the Gypsies when it came to their respective occupations. Sometimes the occupations of the two populations are even presented in opposition to one another, i.e. the peasants are engaged in agriculture (working the land and rearing animals), while the Gypsies practise certain professions. The use of Gypsy slaves to work the land and their consequent transition to a sedentary way of life belongs to a more recent era. Even as late as the second half of the eighteenth century, the vătraşi (sedentary) Gypsies be they manor or estate GypsieŞ were still few in number, not only among the ranks of this population but also among the slaves of most boyars and monasteries. Wherever there are records of slaves on an estate, in most cases we find this kind of situation. A substantial proportion of private slaves were left to “feed themselves” by travelling the country, practising “their craft”. In return for this freedom, they paid their master a sum of money, the dajdie.100 Until the era of emancipation, most Gypsies were used by the monasteries and the boyars in such a way.

63As for the princely slaves with the exception of the few slaves who worked at the princely court almost all of them wandered the country in search of means of making a living, practising the occupations and crafts. Nomadic Gypsies whether they were princely, monastery or boyars’ slaves travelled the country in bands made up of a varying number of tents carrying all their possession with them. They would set up their tents on the edge of a locality, where for a time they would practise their crafts or, as in the case of the gold-washers and spoon-makers who worked in isolated locations they would set up their tents by rivers or in forests. Their horses and asses would graze on the land around the Gypsy encampment. In cases where blacksmiths farriers coppersmiths locksmiths etc. were engaged in a constant movement from place to place in order to obtain work, Gypsies of this kind would practise seasonal migration, working and living in mountainous areas or in forests during the summer and descending to the plains for the winter, staying on an estate prepared to accept them.

64However, the nomadism of the Gypsies in the Middle Ages in the Romanian lands should not be understood in the strict sense of the term. Gypsies we call “nomads” lived on the estate of their master in winter (bands of princely Gypsies could, if they received the necessary permission, sojourn on the estates of monasteries or boyars), while in summer they wandered the land to earn their existence. In general, they would follow the same routes year after year. Gold-washers would stay in specific locations where they would collect gold, to which they would return every year. This seasonal migration was made possible by the social status and regimes of obli­gations of the Gypsies. Private slaves would return to their master’s estate in order to pay tax. The tax paid by princely Gypsies was collected by their leaders and handed over to state officials who were specifically responsible for the supervision of these slaves. Both private slaves and bands of princely slaves could equally be summoned by their master in certain situations or in order to carry out certain services. In Transylvania, twice a year, on Saint George’s day and Saint Michael’s day, bands of Gypsies would present themselves at the county seat to pay their tax.

65Therefore, it can be said that a limited and controlled nomadism existed. Of course, this nomadic way of life formed a contrast with the sedentary character of Romanian society, but it was not destructive or dangerous in nature. The way of life of the majority of the Gypsies was controlled by the public authorities and regulated in many ways. There was no conflict between the sedentary way of life of the autochthonous population and the nomadism of the Gypsies. In the Middle Ages Romanian territories were sparsely populated. Until the nineteenth century, unoccupied lands were continually being populated with new settlements often under the aegis of state policy. There was thus also room for the nomadism of the Gypsies in Romanian society. There was neither the demographic pressure nor the lack of spare land that existed in Central and Western Europe, which resulted in intolerance of the way of life of the Gypsies.

66Clearly, evolutions in the habitat of the Gypsies led to the gradual transition to a sedentary way of life. The domestic and agricultural occupations the Gypsies were with time forced to adopt tied them to stable settlement and a fixed dwelling. Settlements of Gypsy slaves appeared near some boyars’ residences and monasteries where the servants and craftsmen of the master or even agricultural labourers worked. Such settlements were known as ţigănii (singular: ţigănie). Later on, even farming settlements made up of Gypsy slaves were created. The great monasteries in particular led a policy of capitalisation of their estates through the labour of the slaves. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (although we presume that this was also the case earlier on), Gypsy settlements existed on the estates of the great monasteries. It is known that the largest concentration of Gypsies existed on the lands of the monasteries. Such settlements were, however, also created on the boyars’ estates.

67The way of life of the Gypsies was different to that of the Romanian population. The organisation of the Gypsies was also different. The regime of obligations imposed on the Gypsies was different to that of free peasants or serfs. Distinctions between the two societies Romanian rural society and the society of the Gypsies were great for a long time. Peasants and Gypsies were involved in certain economic relations but they constituted two separate communities that functioned on the basis of different rules. For a long time the separation between the two communities was quite clear-cut.

  • 101 W. Wilkinson, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, London, 1820, p. 175.
  • 102 L. Toppeltinus op. cit., pp. 59–60.
  • 103 D. Dan, Ţiganii din Bucovina, Czernovitz, 1892, p. 17.
  • 104 Nicolaus Olahus describes in 1536 a band of GypsieŞ established near Şimand (in the west of presen (...)
  • 105 For such measures see V. A. Urechia, Istoria românilor, Bucharest vol. VI, 1893, p. 761 (from the (...)

68In medieval Romanian society, Gypsies had an inferior social status. Due to their social condition, they were considered to be living outside of society and were treated with the greatest disdain. This state of affairs can be discerned from contemporary documents. An English traveller wrote at the beginning of the nineteenth century: “Although the Gypsies form such an integral part of the community, they are regarded with the greatest disdain by the rest whose behaviour towards them is scarcely better than towards animals; a man could more easily bear being called ‘thief’ or something similar than ‘Gypsy’.”101 Two centuries earlier, Laurentius Toppeltinus indicated that people avoided the Gypsies refusing to greet them or show any sign of respect when they met them.102 In any case, their contacts with them were limited. It is indicative that when a group of Gypsies settled (either voluntarily or by force) in a Romanian locality (or in a Hungarian, Szekler or Saxon locality in Transylvania), their presence was only accepted on the edge of the settlement. In the Romanian principalities Gypsies were not buried together with the other inhabitants even though they were Christians. Instead, they were buried in a separate cemetery.103 Sources show that the Gypsies were treated with suspicion, particularly for the petty thefts that they carried out. The Gypsies’ wandering through the countryside to practise their trades was also regarded as suspect. Similarly, Gypsies constituted part of the ranks of beggars vagrants etc.104 Even if the Gypsies were not persecuted in Wallachia and Moldavia on the same scale as in the countries of Central and Western Europe, we sometimes find that the local authorities would deal with groups of Gypsies. For example, whenever the first signs of an outbreak of plague appeared in Bucharest usually the first measure to be taken, under the instructions of the prince, was the expulsion of the Gypsies from the town.105 The Gypsies were suspecting of spreading the epidemic via their itinerant lifestyle and wretched living conditions.

  • 106 Institutii feudale, p. 411.
  • 107 Gh. I. Brătianu, op. cit., p. 415.

69Over time the distance between the agricultural population and the Gypsies began to decrease. Historical developments resulted in the increased dependency of the peasantry. From the sixteenth century, subjugated peasants in the Romanian lands (rumâni, vecini, iobagi) were tied to the land. They could not move anywhere else without the permission of the master of the estate upon which they worked, while the feudal lord could make use of them as he pleased, including the right to sell individual serfs thereby separating them from their families. In this respect the subjugated peasants were reduced to a state similar to that of the slaves. Slavery and serfdom, although states of dependence, were, of course, not identical to one another. Unlike the slave, who, together with his wife and children, had to serve his master in any way his master required on a daily basis the obligations of a Wallachian or Moldavian serf were, in accordance with common law and the official law, far fewer and meant in effect only a certain number of days per year working the lands in addition to obligations of transportation, guard duty and payments in kind. Furthermore, the serf’s family was exempt from the aforementioned work. The regime of obligations imposed on the serfs continued to worsen until the middle of the eighteenth century, although in this respect a distinction had always existed between a serf and a slave. However, the fiscal burden, the tax and an increasing number of other obligations to the State in reality rendered the situation for Wallachian and Moldavian serfs just as tough as that of the slaves. The latter had the greater obli­gations to their master, but in exchange they were exempt from tax obligations. In the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century, the subjugated peasants became considered the full property of their master, who could use them for any kind of work and could sell them, separating parents from their children, just as in the case of slaves.106 To a certain extent slavery and serfdom became confused, such that when in the middle of the eighteenth century the status of the peasant was regulated via the granting of personal freedom, the lawmakers felt it necessary to distinguish explicitly between serfs and slaves. The 1749 deed abolishing serfdom in Moldavia issued by Constantin Mavrocordat established that serfs are not slaves “because only Gypsies can have the status of slaves serving together with their wives and children their masters every day. Among the serfs only the men serve their master, with only one person per household required to work in this way, all the male offspring of the aforementioned will work as his assistants: the women do not serve the master; nor are serfs subjugated like slaves because a serf is a free villager who owns no land.”107

  • 108 Olga Cicanci, op. cit., pp. 160–162.
  • 109 M. Kogălniceanu, op. cit., p. 575.

70During the same time, the transition to a sedentary way of life that the Gypsies were undergoing and their becoming tied to agricultural occupations brought them closer to the peasantry. The monasteries were particularly active in using Gypsy slaves in the exploitation of their estates. The regime of obligations imposed on these slaves evolved in the direction of that of the subjugated peasants being required to pay terrage and carry out days of corvee (clacă). At the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, many monasteries regulated the regime of working obligations imposed on their slaves. In some places these obligations were fixed at three days per week, whilst in other places Gypsies were required to work a week out of every three for their masters. In other places there were fewer obligations: sometimes the amount of corvee was fixed at twenty-four days per year, the same as it was for serfs in Wallachia.108 The transition to a sedentary way of life led over time to the disappearance of the ethnic character of a part of the Gypsy population. Living alongside the Romanian peasants possibly practising the same occupations as the latter, living in isolation from their traditional way of life and constituting a small proportion of the entirety of the population, over the course of a few generations the Gypsies lost many of their cultural traits chiefly their native language, but not only this. Mihail Kogălniceanu states that in 1837 the vătraşi, private Gypsies with fixed dwellings remained Gypsies in name only, as they had completely forgotten their mother tongue and had lost the habits and customs of the Gypsies that were maintained only by the nomadic population. They could no longer be distinguished from Romanians.109 In 1800, the term “Gypsy” was in the first instance a social term, being an ethnic term only on a secondary level. Clearly, slaves who had been assimilated into the majority population were Gypsies only in the social sense of “slaves”, having already become Romanianised. When the Gypsies were emancipated, in the middle of the nineteenth century, some of those who benefited from emancipation (it is not possible to make an estimate of their number) had already lost their initial cultural traits or at least the fundamental ones (i.e., language and customs) and had become Romanianised. After emancipation, their integration into Romanian society took place at a rapid pace.

  • 110 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 52–53.

71Changes of social nature affecting the peasantry and changes of habitat in the case of some Gypsies facilitated contacts between individuals belonging to the two populations and caused the old social barrier separating the Gypsies from peasants to fall in part. In this context mixed marriages between Gypsies and Romanians appeared. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries mixed marriages were not a rare phenomenon. For feudal masters they were a means of increasing the number of slaves. Enslavement through marriage seems to have been a widely used procedure, especially on the estates of the monasteries. In such situations freemen would hand letters to the abbots declaring that they accepted the situation freely, that they would carry out the same work as other slaves and that they would never seek to regain their former legal status via a tribunal. Likewise, the children resulting from such marriages would also remain slaves.110

  • 111 R. Fr. Kaindl, Das Unterhanswesen in der Bukowina. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Bauernstandes un (...)

72The phenomenon whereby a number of peasants entered the ranks of the slaves is too large to be explained only by mixed marriages. The system of tax exemptions that existed in the Romanian principalities according to which even private slaves were exempt from public duties and the boyars’ and especially the monasteries’ pursuit of a labour force that was exempt from such public duties led to situations in which some feudal masters would declare certain of the peasants tied to their estates to be “Gypsies” in censuses organised periodically by the State to determine the number of tax­payers present on its territory. In this way, serfs were included among the ranks of those exempt from obligations to the State. The Austrian authorities noted at the beginning of their rule in Bukovina that on the estates of the monasteries lived a category of “Gypsies” who kept clean houses and who were well dressed etc., who were in fact peasants recorded in the monasteries records as slaves in order not to pay tax on them.111 Certainly, the number of Romanians in this situation was not great but we should bear such arrangements in mind when we find that the censuses include some Romanians among the “Gypsies”.

  • 112 T. Codrescu, loc. cit.

73There is no doubt that in the eighteenth century there were individuals and families of Romanians who entered the ranks of slaves. We can speculate as to how many of the slaves lacking Gypsy characteristics referred to by Kogălniceanu were in fact Romanian peasants who through marriage or tax evasion had been added to the ranks of boyar or monastery slaves. At the same time, we can observe that through the medium of marriage an ethnic mixing of Gypsy slaves and Romanian peasants took place. When situations of this kind became relatively numerous the authorities intervened to forbid mixed marriages. The Sobornicescul hrisov of 1785 forbade even Gypsies who had been released from slavery to marry Romanians; only the second generation of such Gypsies were allowed to marry Romanians.112

74The ethnic mixing of Gypsies and Romanians also occurred as a result of freed Gypsies entering the ranks of freemen. They became members of rural and urban communities were considered to be Romanians and quickly became assimilated in all respects. This phenomenon was however, a minor aspect of the ethnic contacts between Gypsies and Romanians in the Middle Ages. Boyars very rarely freed their slaves.

  • 113 As for the rudari—who refuse to be known as GypsieŞ considering themselves to be Romanians and spe (...)

75During the lengthy period of time when the Gypsies were slaves the ethnic mixing between Gypsies and Romanians did not become a major phenomenon. The legal and social distinction and the different way of life meant that only in exceptional circumstances did such situations occur.113 Only in the nineteenth century, with the advent of emancipation did it become possible for a part of the Gypsy population, more specifically the former slaves who had changed their way of life, becoming peasants or craftsmen in villages or townŞ to become fully integrated into Romanian communities. In the second half of the nineteenth century and during the twentieth century, the Romanianisation of a relatively significant part of the Gypsy population took place, which was noted by sociological studies and confirmed by demographic statistics. The process whereby a part of the Gypsy population lost its ethnic identity occurred throughout the entire country, not just in the principalities. In areas inhabited chiefly by other ethnic groups the Gypsies adopted the language spoken there and were sometimes assimilated into the respective population. In Transylvania, sometimes even in the Middle Ages but to a greater extent in the nineteenth century, certain groups of Gypsies became Magyarised or Germanised. In Dobrogea, some Gypsies became completely integrated into Turkish or Tatar communities.

7. SOCIAL ORGANISATION. THE LEADERS OF THE GYPSIES

  • 114 Particularly Vom wandernden Zigeunervolke. Bilder aus dem Leben der Siebenbürger Zigeuner. Geschic (...)

76The Gypsies living in the Romanian states during the Middle Ages constituted their own microcosm that was separate from the local society. They also had their own social organisation. Contemporary written sources interested almost entirely in the possessions of the Gypsies and their obligations to the State, paid no attention to the internal organisation of this population. Consequently information on this subject is scarce. On the other hand, the way in which communities of nomadic Gypsies were organised in the modern era is known. There is large body of evidence in this sense, which may be used as an indicator for the situation in earlier times. Ethnological studies provide us with interesting information on this subject. The most comprehensive study of this kind was carried out in the Romanian lands by Heinrich von Wlislocki at the end of the nineteenth century. He studied many different aspects of the life of tent-dwelling Gypsies in Transylvania and his writings are perhaps the richest in information of the social organisation of bands of Gypsies.114 The method used by the Transylvanian ethnologist iŞ however, questionable, and we may wonder to what extent data collected at the end of the nineteenth century is also valid for previous centuries. However, it is certain that some of the results produced by von Wlislocki are of use to historians. It was nomadic Gypsies who best maintained the cultural specificity of the Gypsies preserving it almost until the present day. As a result of many factors starting with the type of habitat in which they dwelt nomadic Gypsies were far less affected by the impact of European feudal society than other Gypsies. The form of organisation of nomadic Gypsies displayed a remarkable longevity. The social evolutions that took place in Europe from the Gypsies’ arrival there until the modern era had little effect on the nomads.

77It is chiefly this category of the Gypsies that is meant when we consider the organisation of the Gypsies in the Middle Ages. Until the modern era most Gypsies were nomadic. The transition of a community to a sedentary way of life would lead sooner or later to its dissolution.

  • 115 Concise data on the organisation of the Gypsies in the Romanian lands: N. GrigoraŞ, op. cit., (II) (...)

78The study of the social organisation of the Gypsies in the Romanian principalities during the Middle Ages will by its nature bring out both elements of specificity and continuity in the organisation of the Gypsies and the impact of local society and political factors on their organisation.115

79The Gypsies lived in groups. The smallest of these groups was the family. Official documents from Wallachia and Moldavia used the termsălas, while in Transylvania the term “tent” was often used. The family was composed of a Gypsy man, a Gypsy woman and their children. Thus the form taken by the Gypsy family did not differ from that of the autochthonous population.

80Several families living in the same place made up a band. In Transylvania, this unit of organisation was usually referred to as a company. Generally speaking, the number of families that made up a band of Gypsies was small. From the relatively numerous statistics at our disposal from the second half of the eighteenth century, it emerges that a band was usually made up of between thirty and forty families. Bands were usually composed according to profession: gold-washers (aurari), bear-baiters (ursari), musicians (lăutari), spoon-makers (lingurari) etc. The whole band moved together as it travelled the countryside. It possessed a number of characteristics that distinguished it from other bands.

81Each band had its own leader, who was known as jude or giude in Wallachia and Moldavia and voivode in Transylvania. The Gypsies chose the leaders of the bands during an assembly attended by the entire group, which was carried out according to a certain ritual. Those chosen to become leaders were selected from among the men considered to be the strongest or wisest. The function of leader was held for life, but it was not hereditary. These leaders constituted a kind of aristocracy of the Gypsies. The voivode or jude became the all-powerful head of that particular community of Gypsies. He enjoyed the complete obedience of the band.

  • 116 Hurmuzaki, I/2, p. 527.
  • 117 Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenbürgen, VII, p. 113.
  • 118 T. Codrescu, op. cit., pp. 286–287. These privileges were renewed in 1804 (G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni(...)

82Contemporary documents are able to tell us something of the prerogatives of the leader of the band. The leader’s first duty was the power to resolve disputes between members of the band. He had the power to pass judgement and to administer punishment. This aspect is revealed to us by certain grants issued by Hungarian kings and Transylvanian princes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to bands of Gypsies. In the grant of 1422, King Sigismund grants (in fact confirms) the voivode Vladislav facultas judicandi over his Gypsy subjects (Ciganos sibi sujectos).116 The administering of justice among the Gypsies was the sole responsibility of their leader. Evidently, this is the case only for disputes within the community. In such cases the local administrative authorities had no prerogative. According to the verdict of 1476 given by King Matthias Corvinus in connection with the Gypsies living at the edge of the town of Sibiu, the voivode and vice-voivode are explicitly forbidden from intervening in the administering of justice among the Gypsies.117 However, cases where the Gypsies entered into legal dispute with somebody from outside the band came under the jurisdiction of the state legal system. In Wallachia and Moldavia, there is evidence of the legal autonomy of the bands of Gypsies only from the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Crown, concerned to halt the decline in the numbers of Gypsies in its possession, confirmed the rights of different bands that had been held in ancient times but which had been violated. The charter of 25 March 1793 issued by Mihail Şuţu regarding ursari and lingurari Gypsies in Moldavia renewed their right to have problems that arose within the band resolved solely by their leader: “any legal dispute or implementation of legal judgements will be dealt with by them alone, according to their ancient custom, only their headmen have the right to try them. Prefects and other officials are not to interfere in their affairs except in cases where the death of a man is involved.” The authorities intervened only in cases where the Gypsies entered into legal disputes with other inhabitants.118 This is the most important aspect of the autonomy enjoyed by communities of nomadic Gypsies both in Transylvania and medieval Hungary and in Wallachia and Moldavia. Evidently, the judgements handed down by Gypsy leaders within their communities were given in accordance of the unwritten rules of that population.

83The second important duty of the Gypsy leader was the collection of taxes that the community as a whole or Gypsies individually owed to the State, the local authorities or in certain cases to the feudal master of the estate on which the band was staying. For fulfilling this task, the Gypsy leader was exempt from the payment of tax and other obligations. In this way, the Gypsy prince played the role of intermediary between the community and the authorities.

84We can, therefore, see that the Gypsy band had its own internal autonomy. There were no significant differences between the three Romanian principalities in this respect.

  • 119 G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni, pp. 72–73.

85Thus was the Gypsy community. In exceptional circumstances two or more bands linked by ties of kinship or occupation might live together. However, there never existed an original master community of the Gypsies. From the beginning, there was no organisational structure of the Gypsies that included all Gypsies living on a region-wide or country-wide level. Organisational structures of this kind appeared later on. They were created by the State for fiscal reasons or in order to exert a more efficient control over the Gypsies. In Wallachia and Moldavia, several Gypsy bands living within a certain region and sharing the same occupation were placed under the authority of a Gypsy sheriff (vătaf). Together, the bands composed a Gypsy shire (vătăşie). The Gypsy sheriff was himself a Gypsy. From the eighteenth century he began to become known as the bulucbaşa or bulibaşa. The sheriff or bulibaşa was the head of a number of leaders from a particular region who also belonged to the same clan. As illustrated by a deed of 1753 issued to Iancul, he was appointed bulucbas over the leaders of the princely lingurar Gypsies of lower Moldavia by the prince of the principality. The document makes reference to the functions of this particular sheriff: to watch over all the leaders and their bands and to round up and bring back, together with the band leaders Gypsies who had wandered away from their bands and entered other bands whether princely, boyar or monastery bands.119 The vătaf or bulibaşa collected tax, presided over disputes between bands or between Gypsies from different bands and sometimes even in disputes between members of the same band. The vătaf would also represent the Gypsies under his authority before the official responsible for the Gypsies and before the authorities. Vătafi and bulibaşi were exempt from the payment of tax and from other obligations to the State.

86Such organisational structures were creations of the State. They were set up on a territorial and occupational basis and had nothing to do with the original social organisation of the Gypsies. With regard to the latter, it is possible that there may have existed some sort of tribal organisation of the Gypsies but in the Romanian lands there is no evidence to confirm this. In any case, for Romologists the extent to which a tribal organisation of the Gypsies actually existed is a question that remains unanswered.

  • 120 DRH, B, I, pp. 201–202;
  • 121 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşiişi ţiganii”, p. 7.

87In Wallachia and Moldavia, in parallel with the sheriffs a network of officials was set up to monitor princely Gypsies from a particular region, all Gypsies belonging to a particular clan within the whole country or a part of them. In the first document attesting to their existence, from Wallachia from 1458, these officials were given the name cnezi of Gypsies.120 Later on, these officials were known as sheriffs (vătafi) of Gypsies or vornici of Gypsies. At the beginning of the nineteenth century in Wallachia, they were known as zapcii of Gypsies and there were four of them appointed for the entire principality: one responsible for the counties west of the river OlŢ two for the counties east of the Olt and one responsible only for aurari.121 Their responsibilities were chiefly fiscal in nature. In order to fulfil their responsibilities they collaborated with the Gypsy bulibaşi and leaders. They were not subordinate to the administrative authoritieŞ because the authorities did not have responsibility for the Gypsies. There was therefore, a doubling of the authorities at the level of Gypsy bands. Alongside the Gypsy leaders drawn from the ranks of the Gypsy communities the authorities also appointed officials in charge of the administering state authority over this population. The latter were not Gypsies. Some were lowranking boyars. They carried out a service for which they were paid out of a certain quota from the taxes gathered from the Gypsies. Confusion can appear because at the time both Gypsy leaders and the state officials in charge with problems related to the Gypsies were known as sheriffs (vătafi).

  • 122 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în Transilvania în secolul al xvii-lea, vol. I, BucharesŢ 1986, p. 110.

88In Transylvania in the eighteenth century, there was a voivodeship of the Gypsies of the Făgăras land. The prince of Transylvania, who had in its possession the Făgăras estate, would appoint to this office a boyar from the region. That is how the situation appears in a deed of 1679, when Şerban Comşut was appointed to this office; the prince was responsible for the organisation of the Gypsy labour force, the collection of taxes and other contributions and for the fining of lawbreakers.122

  • 123 Instituţii feudale, pp. 412–413.

89A high official was responsible for the supervision of all princely slaves within a principality. In Wallachia, this function fell to the great armas, while in Moldavia from the eighteenth century the function was appointed to the hetman (hatman). For this reason, princely Gypsies were also known as “the hetman’s Gypsies”. In the nineteenth century in Moldavia, the official responsible for the superior supervision of the Gypsies was given the title of nazâr or epistat over the princely Gypsies.123

  • 124 See H. M. G. Grellman, op. cit., pp. 138–147; A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 17–18, 28; D. Prodan, Iobăg (...)
  • 125 A. Gebora, op. cit., p. 17.
  • 126 B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 78–79.
  • 127 D. Prodan, loc. cit.
  • 128 B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 71–74.

90In Transylvania during the sixteenth century, in the period of the autonomous principality, the function of voivode of the Gypsies of all the country was established.124 He was appointed by the prince from the ranks of the nobles of the principality. The first succinct reference to this function that has come down to us dates from 1541, when the general commander of Transylvania, Balthazar Bornemisza, confers the position of voivode of the Gypsies of all Transylvania to Mathias Nagy and Thomas of Aiud (Enyed).125 There is also the grant with which Queen Isabella grants the voivodeship of the Gypsies to Gáspár Nagy and Franciscus Balásfi, two nobles with close links to the palace. This document together with two other documents also from 1557 relating to the voivodeship of the Gypsies enables us to learn something of the responsibilities of the voivodes. They had authority over all the Gypsies living in the country, while the leaders of the Gypsy bands were subordinate to them. They were responsible for the collection of the taxes the Gypsies owed to the State. They were equally responsible for issuing and collecting fines. The two voivodes enjoyed complete freedom in the exercise of their duties. The leaders of towns market towns and villages were ordered to give them their full co-operation, with those attempting to obstruct them liable for prosecution by the royal court.126 In 1588, the Diet of Transylvania decided to abolish the office as a result of the abuses perpetrated by the holders of the office. Such abuses were also an annoyance to those nobles who had Gypsies under their authority. The tax that the Gypsies were required to pay to this leader of theirs was abolished together with the office itself. At the same time, it was decided that the masters of the Gypsies would be free to decide whether they would collect taxes from their Gypsy serfs or not and that in cases where the boyars had many of this kind of serf, they were required to appoint a voivode to lead them.127 Later on, the voivodeship of the Gypsies was re-established. The Diet of Transylvania returned to this office on a number of occasions during the seventeenth century. The functioning of the office was subject to strict regulation, as was that of the problem of the Gypsies as a whole.128 The last voivode of the Gypsies was Peter Vallon, appointed by Prince György Rákóczi I.

  • 129 J. Ficowski, Wieviel Trauen und Wege. Zigeuner in Polen, Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, Paris (...)

91The voivode of all Gypsies dealt with all problems concerning their relations with the State. The voievode’s duties were predominantly fiscal in nature, as well as legal and administrative. In essence, we are dealing with the delegation of the sovereign’s authority with respect to the Gypsies. The voivode was in fact an official charged with the administration of the Gypsies on a particular territory, in this case the principality of Transylvania. Such voivodes also existed in areas of Hungary that had not been occupied during this period by the Ottomans and that were then under the authority of the Habsburg Empire. In total there were four such voivodes; one had his seat in Satu Mare. This innovation existed not only in Transylvania and Hungary: it also existed in Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where the leaders of the Gypsies chosen by the authorities from among the nobility, were given the title of “king”.129 These voivodes of the Gypsies should not be confused with the Gypsy leaders who also bore the name of voivode.

  • 130 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în Transilvania în secolul al xvii-lea, vol. I, p. 109.

92This organisational structure did not exist for all privately owned Gypsies. It is known that there were bands of nomadic Gypsies (lăieşi, lingurari, aurari etc.) who belonged to private owners and were led by their own heads (juzi). We can, therefore, presuppose that they would have been organised in the same manner as the bands of princely Gypsies. Some of these Gypsies had, however, settled into a sedentary lifestyle. In such cases for a period there existed a certain form of communal living, with its own autonomous organisation. Especially on the estates of the monasteries there were numerous communities of slaves. Supervision of boyar and monastery slaves fell under the authority of one of the master’s stewards as a rule known as the jude of the Gypsies. Here the prince’s officials could not interfere. In Transylvania in the seventeenth century, we find voivodes of the Gypsies actually present on some feudal estates.130 In such cases we are of course dealing with Gypsy leaders settled on these estates as craftsmen or agricultural workers. Families of Gypsies separated from their band or even entire bands carried out certain services on some estates. To begin with, no relation of legal dependency existed for the Gypsies in relation to the feudal master. As they were royal serfs their employment by a private landowner was carried out with the permission of the sovereign, as we earlier saw in the case of Sibiu in 1486. With time, however, the Gypsies became serfs of their respective master. Since the Gypsies remained a separate social and occupational group even after they had acquired their new social status relations with their master were carried out via the intermediary of their leader, the voivode. It is for this reason that in Transylvania some sedentary Gypsies also had voivodes.

93As we can easily observe, all the terminology used to refer to the leaders of the Gypsies has been borrowed from elsewhere. The Gypsyheads bore names acquired from other peoples and not Indian names. Jude and vătaf are terms that belong to the administrative vocabulary of medieval Romania. “Voivode” (Romanian voievod) is a term of Slavonic origin, used, however, by the Romanians and the Hungarians. The Gypsies adopted this term in South-Eastern Europe, probably on Romanian territory. In Transylvania and Hungary, the leaders of the Gypsies were thus known from the beginning. The Gypsies who reached Central and Western Europe did not use it. In Wallachia and Moldavia, the leaders of the Gypsies were never known as voivodes. Bulucbaşa or bulibaşa is a Turkish term. Since in the Romanian principalities its sense was strictly reserved for that of the head of the Gypsies we can presuppose that it originated from the Ottoman Empire together with the groups of Gypsies that used it in the Romanian lands for the first time (and this at a late stage) in the eighteenth century. However, this borrowed terminology covers a specific organisational structure of the Gypsies which, with some differences we meet almost everywhere in the European countries where the Gypsies were present from the Middle Ages. The political powers of the different countries recognised this autonomous organisation of the Gypsies regardless of the social status that they held there.

  • 131 “Through their current organisation, the Gypsies show to us how the Romanians were organised in th (...)

94In Romanian historiography the opinion has been advanced that the organisation of the Gypsies presents indicators of the Romanians’ nature of organisation during the period of crystallisation of the Romanian states.131 Certainly, the Gypsies adopted a great deal from the peoples alongside which they have lived, including the Romanians. However, when it is a question of the organisation of the Gypsies in the Romanian principalities it does not differ in essence from the situation among the Gypsies of Transylvania, Hungary, Poland or other states. The Gypsies had nothing to do with the political organisation of the Romanians in the period prior to the formation of the principalities. When the Gypsies arrived in the area north of the Danube, the principalities had already become a fact of history. The Gypsies arrived on Romanian soil with their own form of organisation, which was tolerated by the political authorities which incorporated it into the fiscal and administrative system already present in the country.

8. THE SITUATION OF THE GYPSIES IN THE ROMANIAN LANDS AND IN OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES—A PARALLEL

95In the previous sub-chapters we have examined the legal status and economic and social condition of the Gypsies in the Romanian lands during the Middle Ages. To what extent however, do these realities correspond to the history of the Gypsies in other countries of Europe during the same period? In these considerations the slavery of the Gypsies the nomadism of the majority of them, the economic functions they fulfilled, their relations with autochthonous populations and the social evolutions they experienced can be included. Such aspects are characteristic of several centuries of the history of this population in the Romanian lands and which may or may not have reoccurred in other European countries.

96From the beginning of the fourteenth century until the first part of the fifteenth century, the Gypsies who had left the Byzantine Empire scattered in all directions reaching virtually all the countries of Europe. Groups of Gypsies have managed to live in various countries each beginning a separate chapter in the history of the Gypsies. Once the Gypsies leave the Balkans we in fact are no longer dealing with a single history of the Gypsies but rather many histories of Gypsies based around countries and possibly around larger geographical areas. What unites all these histories is the Gypsies’ extraordinary ability to conserve their cultural identity and their obstinate refusal to adapt to the values of European civilisation and to give in to assimilation. It is in this respect alone that historians believe it possible to speak of a single history of the Gypsies in the medieval and modern eras.

97From the beginning it is necessary to state that the Gypsies’ status as slaves marks out their history in Romania from the general history of this population.

  • 132 See Helga Köpstein, op. cit.
  • 133 See Al. Gonta, op. cit., pp. 307–311, together with the references in the notes.
  • 134 B. D. Grekov, op. cit., pp. 141–163 and 560–577.
  • 135 For this problem see Ch. Verlinden, L’Esclavage dans l’Europe médiévale, vols. I–II, Brugge-Ghent (...)

98Slavery existed throughout Europe in the Middle Ages especially in the countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins but also in other countries. Legal documents from these countries and the history of trade in the Mediterranean are full of information regarding this social reality. However, generally speaking it was confined to the early Middle Ages. In the Byzantine Empire, where there was continuity from ancient times with regard to slavery, the institution acquired a minor, domestic role, leading to its eventual disappearance.132 In medieval Hungary, the institution of slavery, which affected certain populations of oriental or non-Christian origin, disappeared in the thirteenth century.133 In Russia, where in the time of the Kievan Rus slavery was an institution that affected relatively large numbers of people and which was strictly regulated, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the holops were gradually freed and transformed into serfs.134 In the fifteenth century, domestic slaves more or less disappeared from the countries of Southern Europe (Italy, France, Spain) where they had previously been present. Trade in slaves originating from the east of the Mediterranean basin and from the Black Sea basin was no longer practised in the Christian countries.135 In all of these countries as well as in other European countries for as long as it existed, medieval slavery was domestic in nature. The use of slaves in production was extremely limited. To a large extent slavery was dependent on wars on the capture of non-Christian slaves on piracy and on slave trading from the Mediterranean basin. At a time when medieval slavery was disappearing from Western Europe and Russia, the slavery of this population of Indian origin arriving from the Balkan Peninsula was being established in the Romanian lands. In the countries of Central and Western Europe, the Gypsies never experienced slavery.

  • 136 Istoria României, ed. M. Roller, BucharesŢ 1947, p. 385.
  • 137 See H. Inalcik, “Servile Labor in the Ottoman Empire”, in The Mutual Effects of the Islamic and Ju (...)

99Why did this difference of social and legal status occur? Slavery in the Romanian principalities did not exist as a result as has been claimed, of the “heavy dependence of the Romanian principalities on the East where slavery was even more widespread”.136 It is true that for centuries the history of the principalities was linked to the Ottoman Empire. However, even if there were slaves in the Ottoman Empire,137 living under a regime similar to that in the north of the Danube, the social regime in the Romanian principalities had nothing to do with the East. Romanian feudalism was European in nature, with certain characteristics common to the area of South-Eastern Europe. In the case of the slavery of the Gypsies there is no question of the adoption of some Eastern institution. This is confirmed when one considers that slavery existed in the principalities before any contacts were made with the Ottoman Empire.

100As we have seen, the appearance of slavery in the Romanian principalities can be explained by the way in which the Romanians to the south and east of the Carpathians replaced the Tatar domination that had ruled there after 1241. The creation of the Romanian states was the result of a series of battles that applied the rule, at that time in general use in Eastern Europe, according to which prisoners of war were to be enslaved. The Gypsies that arrived in the Romanian principalities from the south of the Danube, added weight to the institution of slavery. Slavery formed part of the social system of the Romanian principalities undergoing certain modifications over time before being abolished in the nineteenth century.

  • 138 See above p. 29 with note 9.
  • 139 G. Soulis op. cit., pp.164–165; A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 50–51.

101It is worth bearing in mind that the Gypsies were also enslaved in other countries in South-Eastern Europe. Neither in the Byzantine Empire nor the Ottoman Empire were the Gypsies a free people: there the Gypsies were in a situation similar to that of the princely slaves in the Romanian principalities.138 The regime of obligations and the legal status imposed on the Gypsies of Corfu in the fifteenth century during Venetian rule—as they appear in a decree of 1470—amounted, formally speaking, to a regime of serfdom.139 However, the regime was also very close to the regime of slavery, as it exist­ed in the Romanian principalities. The presence of the Gypsies in Corfu is attested to from the second half of the fourteenth century, before the island fell into the hands of the Venetians (1386), and it is certain that the Gypsies had arrived there earlier. In the case of Corfu, we are very likely to be dealing with state slaves from the Byzantine period organised into a fief (feudum acinganorum) by the Venetians. The situation of the Gypsies in 1470 was in fact a continuation of the status imposed on them in the Byzantine era. The Gypsies were also enslaved in the medieval states of Bulgaria and Serbia. Direct documentary evidence of this is lacking due to the political history of the region at the time, but we can presuppose that the status imposed on the Gypsies in these countries was similar to that in the Romanian principalities. Following the disappearance of the Christian states to the south of the Danube, the Romanian principalities remained the only countries in Europe where the Gypsies were enslaved.

102When the first Gypsies appeared in the Romanian principalities in the second half of the fourteenth century, the political conditions of the time (namely the battles with the Tatars and the Ottomans) meant that the sense of confrontation between Christians and non-Christians between the sedentary Romanian population and the foreign nomads was still fresh. Due to their characteristics their way of life and their organisation into bands the Gypsies were regarded as enemies and enslaved.

  • 140 See F. de Vaux de Foletier, op. cit., p. 42ff.

103Contact between the peoples of Central and Western Europe and the Gypsies had a different character. Here the Gypsies were not identified as enemies. During the Gypsies’ first penetration into Western Europe, which took place in the years 1416–19, interest and tolerance was even shown to them.140 Consequently, there was no question of enslaving these Gypsies. The main reason why these countries did not seek to enslave the nomadic Gypsies was that at the beginning of the fifteenth century when the Gypsies first appeared, social structures in Western Europe had already been well established, with slavery absent from these structures even slavery of a patriarchal nature, which admittedly existed there until the start of the second millennium. Only in the Mediterranean countries was this kind of slavery maintained for a time, but at a more or less insignificant level.

  • 141 For anti-Gypsy measures and policies in Western countries in the Middle Ages and at the beginning (...)
  • 142 Dj. Petrovic´, op. cit.

104Even if slavery did not exist as an institution, when the peoples of Western Europe realised that the bands of nomadic Gypsies made a living from fortune telling, sorcery, theft etc., measures were soon taken against the new arrivals. The history of the Gypsies in Central and Western Europe was until the eighteenth century an endless series of persecutions expulsions deportations pogroms etc. The population was constantly hostile towards the Gypsies while in many places public authorities had an overtly anti-Gypsy policy.141 The situation that the documents of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) indicate is quite unique. Here, in the fifteenth century, the inhabitants of Ragusa treated Gypsies who practiced various trades or who were engaged in commerce as equals. There was no prejudice and no persecution of them.142 This case was however, exceptional. In the West the Gypsies never found their place in society. They remained always outside society, regarded as a foreign element. The situation that existed in the Romanian principalities in which the Gypsies were accepted as part of the social structure as a servile and inferior class and occupied a position, however marginal, in the economy, did not exist in the West. Consequently, even if the Gypsies who represented the bottom rung of society, were treated with disdain, measures were never taken against them along the lines of those taken in the West.

  • 143 R. Stangl, op. cit., pp. 16–17.

105Why did this difference in the treatment of the Gypsies exist? It is possible that the answer lies in the different stages of development that existed in the Romanian principalities in comparison to the countries of Central and Western Europe. In the Romanian principalities the quasi-agrarian nature of the economy and the small number of craftsmen either of local origin or originating from neighbouring countries meant that Gypsy blacksmiths and those practising other crafts were able to find a place in society, being in demand both by the owners of the great estates and by the agrarian population. Furthermore, the sparseness of the population made it possible for groups of Gypsies seeking to earn an existence to practise a limited and controlled form of nomadism. In Central and Western Europe, however, the situation was completely different. In the economic and social system in place in those countries there was no room for populations who did not lead a sedentary lifestyle. Crafts were strictly organised into guilds of closed nature, while production was monopolistic in character and was subject to the power of cartels. Access to this system for foreign craftsmen was completely out of the question. The Gypsies with their professions and the rudi­mentary goods that they produced had no place within such a system. Con­sequently, in the West the Gypsies did not work as craftsmen; instead they forced to orientate themselves towards marginal occupations such as rearing horses and performing music, or to make a living from fortune telling, counterfeiting money, theft etc. Already by the mid-fifteenth century they were regarded as a burden on the local population. They were forbidden access to towns and villages they were driven out of some areas and other measures were taken against them. For the peoples of Western Europe the Gypsies were an unwanted group and were treated as such.143

  • 144 Ilse Rochow, K-P. Matschke, op. cit., p. 253.
  • 145 G. Soulis op. cit., p. 151ff.

106The process by which some of the Gypsies living as slaves on the estates of the boyars and monasteries in Moldavia and Wallachia, as well as Transylvania, settled into a sedentary way of life was repeated in corresponding forms in other parts of Europe. Already in the fourteenth century there were sedentary Gypsies living in villages in the Byzantine Empire, married to Greek women and more or less converted to Christianity, thereby separated definitively from their original communities.144 In the second half of the fourteenth century and the first half of the following century, there are a number of descriptions that attest to the existence of sedentary Gypsies settled in the Peloponnese, the western part of continental Greece and the Ion­ian islands.145

  • 146 See following sub-chapter.

107The process of sedentarisation was on a larger scale in Moldavia and Wallachia compared to neighbouring countries. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the vast majority of the Gypsies were tied to agriculture, so that at the time of emancipation, only certain groups of Gypsies especially those belonging to the State, still practised nomadism. The process of sedentarisation was a natural one, but one that had more important consequences than the policy of forced assimilation practised in Hungary, Transylvania and the Banat in the second half of the eighteenth century by Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Joseph II.146 The more open nature of Romanian society, where in spite of slavery, social barriers could be more easily overcome, also contributed to this phenomenon. As there were Gyp­sies who managed to liberate themselves from slavery to become freemen, so there were also Romanians from the ranks of the bounded peasantry who, through inter-marriage with Gypsies became slaves.

9. THE POLICY OF SEDENTARISATION AND ASSIMILATION OF THE GYPSIES PROMOTED BY THE HABSBURG AUTHORITIES IN TRANSYLVANIA

108The second half of the eighteenth century in Transylvania was for the Gypsies the time of the first concerted effort to convert them to a sedentary life-style. As a result of the major political changes that occurred in the middle Danube basin at the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Habsburg Empire established its authority in Transylvania in 1688 and in the Banat in 1718. Habsburg rule over these two provinces as for Hungary and the other territories that for one or two centuries had been under the direct or indirect rule of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in social and institutional modernisation. Aside from the preservation of certain provincial particularities major transformations were wrought in accordance with the spirit of the time and the House of Habsburg’s interest in increasing the fiscal and military capacity of the Empire. The reigns of Empress Maria Theresa (1740– 80) and her son, Emperor Joseph II (1780– 90), were particularly marked by a major intervention on the part of the State in the social organisation of the provinces. This was the era of enlightened despotism. The directed reformism of the Habsburgs targeted every aspect of social organisation. Regulation of the status of the bounded peasantry, institutional modernisation, religious tolerance and commercial and population policies were just some of the aspects of the reformist policy of the Habsburgs.

  • 147 A. Răduţiu, Populaţia Transilvaniei în ajunul călătoriei din anul 1773 a lui Iosif al II-lea, in S (...)
  • 148 C. Fenesan, Izvoare de demografie istorică, vol. I (Secolul al xviii-lea. Transilvania), Bucharest (...)
  • 149 Fr. Griselini, Încercare de istorie politicăşi naturală a Banatului Timişoarei, translated by C. F (...)

109The Gypsies who were relatively many in number in the eastern countries and provinces of the Habsburg Empire, for a long time remained outside the great socio-economic transformations that the Empire was undergoing. They continued to live as they had done in previous times. There were many Gypsies concentrated in particular within the Kingdom of Hungary (which at that time included the western regions of present day Romania) and the Great Principality of Transylvania. A list of the number of families according to their tax status from 1772 in the Great Pricipalitiy of Transylvania recorded 3769 families of settled Gypsies and 3949 families of nomadic Gypsies.147 This gives a total number of families of 7718, which, if we estimate that there were an average of five persons per family, gives us a total of 38,590 Gypsies. If we compare the number of families of Gypsies to the total number of families registered in Transylvania at the time (302,986), it can be concluded that the Gypsies accounted for 2.55 per cent of the population of the principality. The conscription of the population in the principality of Transylvania of 1776 records 3562 families of settled Gypsies and 3867 families of nomadic Gypsies giving a total of 7429 families.148 Compared to the 271,852 families in total living in Transylvania, the Gypsies accounted for 2.73 per cent of the principality’s population. In the Banat according to figures provided by Francesco Griselini in 1780, in the cameral districts there were 5272 Gypsies while in the military districts in the south-east of the province, there were approximately 2800, meaning that in the whole of the Banat there were approximately 8072 Gypsies. The cameral districts had a total population of 317,928, while the total population of the Banat was approximately 450,000.149 This meant that the Gypsies accounted for 1.6 per cent of the population of the Banat. Aside from the differences regarding the status of the Gypsies from place to place, the revenues a Gypsy generated for the State were generally speaking of a limited nature; in any case, smaller than those generated by a serf or a craftsman. Nor were they a source of soldiers. On the other hand, the Gypsies created problems for the authorities due to the nomadic lifestyle led by many of them and the crimes that they committed. It was in these circumstances that the Habsburg authorities sought to integrate this population into the social structure of the country.

110In previous centuries and even in the first half of the eighteenth century until the reign of Maria Theresa, the authorities paid little attention to the sedentarisation of the Gypsies. It is true that over time some Gypsies settled on the edges of towns or on certain nobles’ estates. However, only a part of the Gypsy population was affected by sedentarisation and in most cases it did not mean complete integration into the economic and social life of the respective communities. The authorities showed no intention to integrate either these relatively settled Gypsies or those Gypsies leading a nomadic lifestyle under certain privileges accorded to them in ancient times. The authorities’ interest in the Gypsies was strictly fiscal, and following the establishment of Habsburg rule in Transylvania and in other Romanian provinces on the other side of the mountains the Gypsies make frequent appearances in official documents. For example, there are instances of tax records at the level of the principality of Transylvania and the Kingdom of Hungary respectively, where Gypsies are registered under separate headings as well as tax records at the level of counties and other administrative units or towns which record Gypsies together with their obligations or even the amount of tax paid by them, particularly the gold-washers from the principality or the Banat.

  • 150 For the policy of the two emperors with regard to the Gypsies see: H. M. G. Grellmann, op. cit., p (...)
  • 151 See I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 53–56.

111After the middle of the eighteenth century, this strictly tax-related interest in the Gypsies changed. A general and all-encompassing settlement of the problem of the Gypsies was undertaken during the reigns of Empress Maria Theresa and her son, Emperor Joseph II. A number of measures were adopted in succession with regard to the Gypsies; these were gradual in nature, indicating that we are dealing here with a clear policy elaborated by the Viennese Court in relation to this population.150 Maria Theresa issued four decrees relating to the sedentarisation and assimilation of the Gypsies.151 In 1758, she decreed that the Gypsies would be tied to one place and who would be required to pay taxes to the State and would be subject to a regime of obligations to their feudal masters; they would no longer be allowed to own horses and carts and would require special permission in order to leave the village in which they were settled. In 1761, the name “Gypsy” was replaced by decree with the name “new peasants” (neo-rustici, Neubauer) or “new Hungarians” (újmagyarok); according to the terms of the same deed, young Gypsies over the age of sixteen would be required to perform military service. The decree of 1767 abolished the jurisdiction of the voivode of the Gypsies with the population now placed under the jurisdiction of the regular authorities; the use of Romanes was banned, as was the wearing of clothing and the practice of occupations specific to the Gypsies. In 1773, marriages between Gypsies were forbidden, while mixed marriages (with non-Gypsies) were strictly controlled. Gypsy children over the age of five were to taken away from their families and raised by non-Gypsy families. These decrees and orders issued by Maria Theresa were targeted at the Gypsies from the Kingdom of Hungary, which at that time included western regions of present-day Romania. The administrative authorities also took them up at a county level. The measures issued by the Empress were not applied to the principality of Transylvania.

  • 152 H. M. G. Grellmann, op. cit., pp. 147–150.

112Emperor Joseph II, who continued the policy of his mother with regard to the Gypsies extended the measures introduced by her to cover Transylvania as well. On 12 September 1782, he gave an order regarding the Gypsies of the principality of Transylvania, known as the De Regulatione Zingarorum.152 This order contained the following requirements:

  • Gypsy children were to be sent to school;
  • they were no longer to be unclothed;
  • children of different sexes were to sleep separately;
  • Gypsies were to attend church on Sundays and public holidays; they were to follow the advice of priests; they were to follow the customs of the place where they lived with regard to what they ate, how they dressed and the language they spoke;
  • they were no longer to wear coats in which they could conceal stolen items;
  • no Gypsy was allowed to own a horse, with the exception of goldwashers;
  • the latter category of Gypsies were not permitted to trade in horses; village authorities were not to allow Gypsies to laze about;
  • Gypsies were required to work in agriculture;
  • where possible, the landowners who received Gypsies on their land were to provide them with a parcel of land, while anyone who refused to work the land was to be punished;
  • Gypsies would be allowed to perform music only when there was no work to be done in the fields.
  • 153 The text was republished in B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 85–94. See I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., p (...)

113On 9 October 1783, Joseph II published the Hauptregulatio, a decree consisting of fifty-nine points regulating the status of the Gypsies in Hungary and Transylvania in all its aspects.153 This deed is a synthesis of all the previous measures adopted with regard to the Gypsies under the Habsburg monarchy. However, the regulations issued by the Emperor went even further. The following is a comprehensive tableau of the Habsburgs’ programme for the Gypsies in the second half of the eighteenth century:

  • Gypsies were forbidden to live in tents;
  • Gypsies previously under the authority of their voivode would from now on be under the authority of the village sheriff;
  • Gypsy children of four years and over were to be shared out among neighbouring settlementŞ at least every other year;
  • nomadism was forbidden, and Gypsies already leading a sedentary way of life were permitted to go to market in another area only in cases of necessity and with special authorisation;
  • Gypsies were forbidden to own horses with the intention of selling them; Gypsy serfs were allowed to own horseŞ but only for use in agricultural work and they were not allowed to trade in them;
  • Gypsies were obliged to adopt the costume and language of the inhabitants of the village in which they are settled;
  • use of the Romanes was punishable by twenty-four lashes with a bat;
  • the same punishment would be applied to those found eating carcasses;
  • Gypsies were forbidden to change their names;
  • Gypsy houses were required to be numbered;
  • marriage between Gypsies was forbidden;
  • the local legal authorities would supply monthly reports on the way of life of Gypsies living in their district;
  • the number of Gypsy musicians had to be kept to the strictest mini­mum;
  • begging was forbidden;
  • it is compulsory for Gypsy children to attend school, with the priest responsible for ensuring their attendance;
  • landowners were required to make a parcel of land available to Gypsies in order to ensure their adoption of a sedentary way of life and an agricultural occupation;
  • anyone who abandoned their residence or occupation will be treated as a vagrant and returned to their residence.
  • 154 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 62–69.

114It can clearly be seen that the decrees and orders issued by the Habsburg emperors as well as the measures taken on a local scale, constitute a carefully drawn-up policy that addresses every element of the Gypsy problem. It is difficult to estimate the effects of the policy following its introduction. Under the conditions of the autonomy and given the major differences from province to province within the Empire, decrees were as a rule applied either partially or even not at all. Only in certain places did the local authorities treat these instructions with utmost seriousness. It is reckoned that only on the western border of Hungary (today Burgenland, in Austria) did the measures taken by the local authorities match up more or less to the demands of the imperial decrees. However, there is no doubt that a part of the Gypsy population was settled into a sedentary way of life and tied to agricultural occupations. Contemporary sources note the existence of this rural population of “new peasants”, “new Hungarians” (in Hungary) or “new Banatians” (in the Banat). The 1780–83 census of the Gypsies living in the Kingdom of Hungary (together with Croatia–Slavonia), which did not include Transylvania proper, just happens to capture the moment when the policy of the Habsburgs with regard to the Gypsies was being put into practice.154 The number of the Gypsies recorded in 1780 was 43,609; in 1781—38,312; in 1782—43,772 and in 1783—30,241. The fact that in 1783 13,531 fewer Gypsies are recorded in comparison to the previous year is due to Gypsies no longer being registered as such but instead as sedentary “new peasants”. These changes in the figures reflect the process of sedentarisation of the Gypsies. The number of Gypsies that the census recorded in the counties and towns illustrates the scale of measures undertaken in this respect by the respective administrative units. In some counties the number of Gypsies fell, while in others it increased. If we examine some of the counties inhabited mainly by Romanians we find that in Bihor the number of Gypsies fell during the period 1780–83 from 2289 to 1906; in Caras, the number of Gyp­sies fell by 1008 in the space of a single year (1782–83); in the county of Arad, this number increased from 1135 to 1255; in Maramures the number of Gypsies recorded fluctuated over the years 1780–82 from 446 to 903 and back to 717. Aside from the migration from one part of the country to another undertaken by the Gypsies during this period, the statistics of the census reflect the manner in which the measures ordered by Maria Theresa and Joseph II were applied from place to place. From this it follows that the process of sedentarisation did not take place on a large scale. Furthermore, in the following period, the “successes” of this time were lost with some of the “new peasants” returning to their old way of life.

115The census of 1780–83 offers us a comprehensive tableau of the Gypsy population. It recorded all the elements that had a bearing on the policy of Vienna with regard to the Gypsies. Consequently, aside from general demographic data, the statistics reproduce for us the number of Gypsies living in houses and the numbers living in huts; the numbers of Gypsies with and without a fixed residence; among sedentary Gypsies the number who owned a plot of land or part of it; those who wore normal dress (that is similar to the locals) and those who wore traditional Gypsy costume. The census also tells us the distribution of occupations among the Gypsies: musicians black­smiths other craftsmen, beggars; it tells us about those who obeyed the local legal authorities and those who did not; those who ate dead animal carcasses and those who did not; those who engaged in horse trading and those who did not as well as the total fiscal obligations of the Gypsies. Special attention was paid in the census to the Gypsies’ children. It recorded by sex the number of children living with their parents and those who were taken from their parents and entrusted to other persons the number of children who went to school and the professions for which they were trained.

  • 155 See R. Stangl, op. cit., pp. 34–35.

116If we consider the data produced by the census of the Gypsies living in Hungary in 1780–83 as well as data from other official documents and contemporary testimonies we can appreciate that the policy adopted with regard to the Gypsies did not lead to the desired effect. One explanation for this outcome might be that the policy was promoted at the highest level for too short a period. After the death of Joseph II, the Gypsies no longer represented a preoccupation of the Imperial Court. The three decades in which a concrete policy was applied to the problem of the Gypsies were not able to alter the destiny of a population that was both relatively numerous and in possession of a powerful sense of individuality. We believe that the causes of the policy’s extremely limited success lay principally in the fact that society was at that time not prepared to fully integrate the Gypsy population. Neither the nobility nor the local population were interested in the sedentarisation and assimilation of the Gypsies. Nobles had no interest in this because they were required to provide land for the newly sedentary Gypsies and to pay for the schooling of their children. The peasantry had no interest in the policy because the introduction of Gypsies onto the estates where they worked would have created extra pressure on them, as the parcels of lands that they worked barely enabled them to live as it was.155 As with other reforms introduced by the two emperors (especially those of Joseph II), imperial policy with regard to the Gypsies came up against hostility from the privileged classes particularly from the nobility. Proof of this state of affairs is provided by the fact that after the death of Joseph II, the policy with regard to the Gypsies was abandoned, as was the case with other measures introduced by the reform-minded emperor. For a long time, the Imperial Court produced no new legislation with regard to the Gypsies.

  • 156 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 59–61.
  • 157 A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 159–160.
  • 158 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., p. 61.

117Another explanation for this state of affairs lies with the characteristics of the Gypsy population itself. Contemporary observers remarked on the difficulties faced by those who tried to implement the measures ordered by the Empire. When Gypsies were received on a noble’s estate, efforts to accustom them with agricultural work and with an orderly way of life as a rule failed to produce the desired results: the Gypsies refused to occupy the houses put at their disposal, preferring to live in huts; they refused to wear the same clothes as the other villagers etc.156 The policy of the Habsburgs aimed at more than just converting the Gypsies to a sedentary way of life and their integration into agricultural occupations; it aimed to assimilate the Gypsies to erase their identity. The measures taken against the Gypsies were not of course, conceived as measures based on ethnicity and race: rather, the Gypsies were treated as an asocial minority that ought to disappear. Perhaps this is what caused the Gypsies to demonstrate their powers of resistance, refusing to accept the extinguishing of their identity. The successes of the policy were limited and, to a certain extent of a short duration. After 1790, some sedentarised Gypsies abandoned the houses and villages in which they had been settled and went back to their tents and huts or even to a nomadic existence. Children who had been removed from their families returned to their parents. Marriages among the Gypsies continued to take place, even in places where the ban on such marriages remained in force, evidently without any legal problems arising.157 In the Banat the policy of sedentarisation was more successful than in other areas. In this province, which in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the most representative for the population policy of the Habsburgs the authorities were greatly concerned with applying the measures stipulated in imperial decrees and orders. Although up until the reign of Maria Theresa almost all the Gypsies had been nomadic, already by the reign of Joseph II the majority of the Gypsies living in the province were sedentary. In the documents of the time they are the so-called Neubanater (new Banatians). According to the locality in which they settled, the Gypsies either adopted Romanian, German, Serbian or Hungarian as their native language. In the census of 1784, in Timişoara there were fifty Gypsy families of which thirty were “German”. Out of the total number of Gypsies thirty-six worked as musicians; out of these, thirty were “Germans”.158 In the Banat only the gold-washers maintained a nomadic way of life for a time, but their freedom of movement was increasingly restricted. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, Gypsies from this category were also sedentarised, the majority of them in the military districtŞ that iŞ in the mountain villages in the south-east of the province.

  • 159 Ibid., p. 70.

118In Transylvania, the settlement ordered by Joseph II in 1783 was only partially implemented. Here, the status of the Gypsies came under the attributes of the Diet of the principality. A preoccupation with regard to the Gypsies on the part of the authorities in the principality dates from an earlier date: as early as 1747, the Diet had ordered that Gypsies who had fled their feudal masters were to be gathered and settled in a particular location. In 1791, the Diet renewed these measures.159 From a fiscal point of view, there were three categories of Gypsies living in Transylvania:

  1. Fiscal Gypsy gold-washers. These were authorised to engage in the collection of gold from riverbeds. Mining offices supervised the activity of these Gypsies who were also under the jurisdiction of the offices. The occupation of such Gypsies was seasonal and they were nomadic. In 1781, 1291 families of gold-washing Gypsies were recorded. The revenues they generated for the State were relatively large.
  2. Fiscal taxed Gypsies. These Gypsies were so called because they paid an annual tax to the Treasury. They led a nomadic existence. They were organised into bands led by a voivode. In 1781, 1239 tents were recorded as well as twenty-six voivodes. The cameral tax was 933 florins and 8.5 kreuzers.
  3. Gypsies attached to the leading landowners and the towns. These were serfs or landless peasants tied to nobles’ estates where they were chiefly employed as craftsmen, or they were living in relations of servitude to towns for whom they were required to carry out certain tasks. In the census of 1781, 12,686 heads of Gypsy families were recorded, together with their wives giving a total of 35,539 people living in this state. A total of 8598 families had fixed dwellings while 4088 were nomads¸10,947 were serfs while 1739 were landless peasants.
  • 160 S. l., s.a., p. 17 in folio. The material was republished in Ethnologische Mitteilungen aus Ungarn(...)
  • 161 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., p. 70.

119The situation of these Gypsies together with all the data mentioned above, was contained in a report produced in the year 1794, entitled Opinio. De domicilitatione et de regulatione Zingarorum.160 The report makes note of all Transylvanian legislation regarding the Gypsies starting with the year 1747 and in the spirit of this legislation and of imperial policy, presents the appropriate means of achieving the sedentarisation and assimilation of the Gypsies. As the structure of the Gypsy population in Transylvania was different from that of Hungary, the solutions to which this material refers even if they are essentially the same, are appropriate to the realities in Transylvania. Pressure for the sedentarisation of the Gypsies particularly the taxed Gypsies was greater in Transylvania, which explains why at this time, in earlier periods and in the nineteenth century we come across the migration of the groups of the tent-dwelling Gypsies from Transylvania into the Hungarian puszta, an area more suitable to a nomadic way of life.161

120The measures ordered by Maria Theresa and Joseph II gave impetus to the process of sedentarisation of the Gypsies in Transylvania, the Banat and in the west of present-day Romania, as in Hungary and on territories constituting present-day Slovakia. Even though it is necessary to recognise that there were cases of sedentarisation and assimilation of the Gypsies prior to this time, such cases were isolated and did not determine a major change in the way of life of the majority of the population. Only in the second half of the eighteenth century can we speak of a large-scale process in this sense, which affected the Gypsiy population at large. Now the Gypsies were given permission to build fixed dwellings and to own land, rights previously denied to them. Over a few decades the majority of the Gypsies moved to a sedentary way of life. They settled in villages working as farmers or craftsmen (especially blacksmiths). Their status underwent a fundamental change: from being members of a tolerated socio-ethnic group, they became inhabitants of the country, with a social and fiscal status identical to the other people living in the locality where they settled. In this way, they were integrated into society, even though they preserved, either as individuals or as a subgroup, certain distinctive features. Linguistic and ethnic assimilation did not take place necessarily, and when it did occur, it was the result of evolutions spread over two to three generations. From the end of the nineteenth century, the nomadic Gypsies became the minority. The proportion of nomadic Gypsies fell from generation to generation. Of course, it cannot be said that this process was a creation of the legislation introduced with regard to the Gypsies during the reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph II. It is first of all the result of the natural evolution of society in this part of Europe, which, together with the reforms introduced in the middle and second half of the eighteenth century, offered fewer and fewer opportunities for the practice of a nomadic way of life. The assimilation policy promoted by the two monarchs with regard to the Gypsies belongs within this trend. It had the advantage of intensifying a natural process and leading it in the direction of the Habsburg population policy.

Notes

* Desetinǎ de stupi, goştinǎ de mascuri and mucarer were all taxes that those subject to tax were required to pay to the State. Cai de olac (post horses) were horses that villages situated on major roads were obliged to make available to officials so that the latter could continue their journey at maximum speed. Podvoadǎ or cǎrǎturǎ was the obligation of transport to be provided to the crown. An explication of these obligations can be found in Instituţii feudale din ţǎ rile române. Dicţionar, Bucharest, 1988.

1 See below pp. 42–43.

2 N. Iorga, op. cit., p. 22.

3 Al. Gonţa, op. cit., p. 313ff.

4 N. Beldiceanu, Irène Beldiceanu-Steinherr, op. cit., p. 13.

5 See Al. Gonţa, op. cit., pp. 307–311, with the references in the notes.

6 B. D. Grekov, Ţăranii în Rusia (translation), Bucharesţ 1952, pp. 151–153.

7 See Al. Eck, “Les non-libres dans la Russie de Moyen-Age”, Revue historique de droit français et étranger, 1930, pp. 26–59.

8 See Helga Köpstein, Zur Sklaverei im ausgehenden Byzanz, Berlin, 1966 (with bibliography).

9 Ilse Rochow, K.–P. Matschke, op. cit., pp. 243–246.

10 P. N. Panaitescu, Le Rôsle économique et social des Tziganes au Moyen Age en Valachie et en Moldavie, in XVII-e Congrès International d’Antropologie et d’Archéologie Préhistorique. VII-e Session de l’Institut International d’Antropologie. BucaresŢ 1–8 Septembre 1937, BucharesŢ 1939, pp. 933–942; idem, “The Gypsies in Wallachia and Moldavia. A Chapter of Economic History”, JGLS (3), 15 (1941), pp. 58–72.

11 This problem is dealt with by G. Potra, “Despre Ţiganii domneşti, mănăstireşti şi boiereşti”, Revista Istorică Română, V–VI (1935–1936), pp. 295–320; idem, Contribuţiuni, pp. 26–65; N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (I), pp. 40–70.

12 Examples in N. Grigoraş, op. cit., p. 45.

13 See for example the complaint made in 1753 by a number of princely slaves in Moldavia awarded to the Metropolitanate: “Ioan Neculce”. Buletinul Muzeului Municipal Iaşi, fasc. 2 (1922), p. 308.

14 N, Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 45–46.

15 DRH, A, I, pp. 124–126.

16 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 48–49.

17 DRH, B, I, pp. 25–28 (from the year 1388).

18 See below, pp. 57–58.

19 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 50–51.

20 G. Potra, “Despre Ţiganii domnesti”, pp. 317–319; Olga Cicanci, “Aspecte din viata robilor de la mănăstirea Secul în veacurile XVII–XVIII”, Studii Şi articole de istorie, X (1967), pp. 158–160.

21 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 59–70.

22 M. Kogălniceanu, Esquisse sur l’histoire, les mœurs et la langue des Cigainş Berlin, 1837; reproduced in Opere, vol. I, ed. A. Oţetea, Bucharesţ 1946, pp. 572– 574. (Future citations will refer to this edition.)

23 Ibid., p. 575.

24 G. Potra, Contribuţiuni, pp. 62–65.

25 Works specially devoted to the institution of slavery in the Romanian territories: I. Peretz, Robia (lithographed course), Bucharesţ 1934; B. Th. Scurtulencu, Situaţia juridico-economică a Ţiganilor în principatele române, Iaşi, [1938]; N. Grigoraş, “Robia în Moldova (De la întemeierea statului până la mijlocul secolului al XVIII-lea)”, Anuarul Institutului de istorie Şi arheologie “A. D. Xenopol”, IaŞi, IV (1967), pp. 31–79 (I); V (1968), pp. 43–85 (II). See also V. Costăchel, P. P. Panaitescu, A. Cazacu, Viaţa feudală în ţara Românească şi Moldova (sec. XIV–XVII), BucharesŢ 1957, pp. 143–164.

26 For a treatment of this problem, see I. R. Mircea, “Termenii rob, Şerb Şi holop în documentele slave şi române”, Studii şi cercetări Ştiinţifice, Iaşi, I (1950), pp. 856–873.

27 DRH, A, I, p. 367.

28 DRH, A, II, pp. 239–241.

29 I. R. Mircea, op. cit., pp. 860–862.

30 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (I), pp. 67–70; Istoria dreptului românesc, vol. I, Bucharesţ 1980, pp. 486–489.

31 DRH, A, II, pp. 239–241.

32 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (II), p. 43.

33 For the old legislation with regard to slaves used in the Romanian principalitieş see I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român, vol. II, part I, Bucharesţ 1928, pp. 187–440.

34 For their contenţ ibid., pp. 315–440; J. Peretz, Robia, pp. 83–119.

35 DRH, A, I, p. 23 (31 October 1402, Moldavia); DRH, B, I, pp. 201–202 (5 March 1458, Wallachia).

36 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 70–76.

37 See G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni, pp. 69–71; N. Grigoraş, op. cit., pp. 73–74.

38 See below pp. 61–62.

39 N. Grigoraş, op. cit., (II), pp. 43–52; Istoria dreptului românesc, loc. cit.

40 Carte românească de învăţătură. Ediţie critică, Bucharesţ 1961, p. 68.

41 For the problem of the marriage of slaves see B. Th. Scurtulencu, op. cit., pp. 19– 26; N. GrigoraŞ, op. cit., pp. 70–75; Gh. T. Ionescu, O anaforà din domnia lui Constantin Hangerli privind un interesant caz de eliberare de robie prin cãsãtorie, Analele Universităţii Bucureşti, ser. Ştiinţe sociale, Istorie, XVII (1968), pp. 155–168.

42 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 45–46.

43 Gh. I. Brătianu, “Două veacuri de la reforma lui Constantin Mavrocordat 1746– 1946”, Analele Academiei Române, Memoriile SecŢiunii Istorice, s. III, t. XXIX (1946–1947), p. 450.

44 T. Codrescu, Uricariul, vol. I, 2nd ed., IaŞi, 1871, pp. 320–327.

45 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 64–66.

46 Gh. I. Brătianu, loc. cit.

47 I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român, vol. IV, Hrisoavele domnesti, Bucharest 1931, pp. 47–54.

48 B. Th. Scurtulencu, op. cit., pp. 25–26.

49 Ibid., pp. 24–25.

50 For free Gypsies see G. Potra, Contributiuni, pp. 43–44, 59–62; N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), pp. 36–38, 76–77; (II), pp. 76–80.

51 See A. D. Xenopol, Istoria românilor din Dacia traiană, vol. III, Iasi, 1890, pp. 194, 216–218, 481.

52 N. Iorga, “Originea lui Ştefan Răzvan”, Analele Academiei Romăne, Memoriile Secţiunii Istorice, s. III, t. IX (1930), pp. 157–163.

53 See Gh. T. Ionescu, op. cit., pp. 162–166.

54 See these texts in I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român,IV, Hrisoavele domneŞti, pp. 169–216.

55 “[…] the slave is not reckoned completely to be like an objecţ where his deeds rights and obligations affect others (although not his master), he is reckoned to be like a person; thus is the slave subject to earthly laws and is protected by them.” Cf. Istoria dreptului românesc, vol. II/I, Bucharest 1984, p. 244.

56 I. Peretz, Curs de istoria dreptului român, IV, Hrisoavele domnes,ti, p. 49.

57 There is a work devoted to this subject which should, however, be treated with caution: A. Gebora, Situaţia juridică a Ţiganilor în Ardeal, Bucharesţ 1932.

58 See above p. 14.

59 In 1441, the boyar Stanciu Moenescul of Voila received confirmation of ownership of his Gypsies Manea, Pascul, Cazac and Micul (DRH, B, I, pp. 160–162), while in 1476, in a deed issued by Basarab the Old, we see that the boyar Şerban of Şinca was master over the Gypsies Radul, Lalu, Curchea, Mujea and Costea (ibid., pp. 253–256).

60 See D. Prodan, Boieri Şi vecini în Ţara Făgăraşului în sec. xvi–xvii, in Din istoria Transilvaniei. Studii Şi evocări, BucharesŢ 1991, pp. 22–27, 149.

61 I. Puscariu, Fragmente istorice despre boierii din Ţara FăgăraŞului, Sibiu, 1907, pp. 416–422.

62 Documente privind istoria României, A, Moldova, veac XVI, vol. I, BucharesŢ 1953, p. 409.

63 See N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), p. 37.

64 Hurmuzaki, XV/1, p. 152.

65 Maja Philippi, op. cit., pp. 142–143.

66 Hurmuzaki, I/2, p. 527.

67 A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 13–14.

68 Ibid.

69 See below pp. 63–64.

70 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în secolul al XVI-lea, vol. I, Bucharesţ 1967, p. 415.

71 P. N. Panaitescu, “Le Rˆole économique”, p. 936.

72 Ibid., pp. 938–940.

73 I. St. Raicewich, Bemerkungen über die Moldau und Wallachey in Rücksicht auf Geschichte, Naturprodukte und Politik. Aus dem Italienischen, Vienna, 1789, p. 126.

74 I. Chelcea, Ţiganii din România. Monografie etnografică, BucharesŢ 1944, p. 102.

75 Cf. Şt. Bezdechi, “Christian Schesaeus despre români”, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie Naţională, IV (1926–1927), p. 448.

76 “Dans la Valaquie, la forge este l’unique occupation des Bohémiens” (Ch. de Peyssonnel, Observations historiques et géographiques sur les peoples barbares qui ont habité les bords du Danube et du Pont-Euxin, PariŞ 1765, p. 111).

77 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (II), p. 67.

78 M. Block, Die materielle Kultur der rumänischen Zigeuner. Versuch einer monographischen Darstellung, comp. and ed. J. S. Hohmann, Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, PariŞ 1991, p. 131.

79 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 68–69.

80 Aurora Ilies, “Ştiri în legătură cu exploatarea sării în Ţara Românească pânăîn veacul al XVIII-lea”, Studii Şi materiale de istorie medie, I (1956), p. 180ff.

81 Maja Philippi, op. cit., pp. 143–145.

82 A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 13–14.

83 Ibid., p. 29.

84 Ibid.

85 V. Costăchel, P. P. Panaitescu, A. Cazacu, op. cit., pp. 152–153.

86 DRH, B, I, p. 275.

87 D. C. Giurescu, Ţara Românească în secolele XIV–XV, BucharesŢ 1973, pp. 259–260.

88 Miron Costin, Istoria în versuri polone despre Moldova ŞiŢara Românească (1684), translated by P. P. Panaitescu, BucharesŢ 1929, p. 108.

89 Călători străini despre ţările române, II, p. 322.

90 N. Grigoras, op. cit., (I), p. 62.

91 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşiişi ţiganii la sfârşitul veacului al XVIII”, Arhivele Basarabiei, VIII, 1936, no. 1, p. 6ff.

92 Idem, “Ţiganii domnesti, din Moldova, la 1810”, Arhivele Basarabiei, V (1933), no. 2, pp. 1–6. The total revenues of the State in 1810 came to 2,411,464.48 lei (idem, “Veniturile şi cheltuielile Ţărilor Românesti între 1810–12”, Arhivele Basarabiei, VI (1934), pp. 135–136), which means that princely Gypsies contributed 5.18 per cent of revenues.

93 For the aurari and their occupation, see in particular C. Şerban, “Contribuţiuni la istoria meşteşugarilor din Ţara Românească: ţiganii rudari în secolele xviixviii”, Studii. Revistă de istorie, XII (1959), no. 2, pp. 131–147; M. Acker, “Vechile spălătorii de aur din jurul SebeŞului”, Apulum, V (1965), pp. 647–658; C. FeneŞan, “Date privind exploatarea aurului în Banat la sfârşitul sec. al XVIII-lea Şi începutul sec. al XIX-lea”, Studia Universitatis Babeş –Bolyai, Series Historia, Fasciculus 1, 1967, pp. 55–64. See also H. Wilsdorf, “Zigeuner auf den karpathobalkanischen Bergravieren – montan-ethnographische Aspekte”, Abhandlungen und Berichte des Staatlichen Museums für Völkerkunde Dresden, 41 (1984), pp. 138–173; I. Chelcea, op. cit., pp. 143–149.

94 M. Acker, op. cit., p. 656. One majă = 56 kg.

95 See below p. 77 with note 160.

96 C. Feneşan, op. cit., pp. 59–61.

97 See C. Şerban, op. cit., pp. 131–137.

98 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşii şi ţiganii”, p. 6.

99 I. R. Mircea, op. cit., pp. 863–864.

100 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 72–73.

101 W. Wilkinson, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, London, 1820, p. 175.

102 L. Toppeltinus op. cit., pp. 59–60.

103 D. Dan, Ţiganii din Bucovina, Czernovitz, 1892, p. 17.

104 Nicolaus Olahus describes in 1536 a band of GypsieŞ established near Şimand (in the west of present-day Romania), which lived exclusively from begging (Călători străini despre ţările române, I, pp. 499–450).

105 For such measures see V. A. Urechia, Istoria românilor, Bucharest vol. VI, 1893, p. 761 (from the years 1794, 1795 and 1796); vol. X/1, 1900, pp. 949–950 (from the year 1813).

106 Institutii feudale, p. 411.

107 Gh. I. Brătianu, op. cit., p. 415.

108 Olga Cicanci, op. cit., pp. 160–162.

109 M. Kogălniceanu, op. cit., p. 575.

110 N. Grigoras, op. cit., pp. 52–53.

111 R. Fr. Kaindl, Das Unterhanswesen in der Bukowina. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Bauernstandes und seiner Befreiung (extract from Archiv für Österreich Geschichte, LXXXVI), Vienna, 1899, pp. 39–40.

112 T. Codrescu, loc. cit.

113 As for the rudari—who refuse to be known as GypsieŞ considering themselves to be Romanians and speaking no language apart from Romanian, who distin­guish themselves from other Gypsies through their customs and character—it is supposed that they are the result of a mixing of Gypsies and Romanians that took place some time during the Middle Ages (see I. Chelcea, op. cit., pp. 57– 59). In our opinion, there are no arguments that would support this hypothesis. It is difficult to explain when and in what circumstances such a mixing could have taken place.

114 Particularly Vom wandernden Zigeunervolke. Bilder aus dem Leben der Siebenbürger Zigeuner. GeschichtlicheŞ EthnologischeŞ Sprache und Poesie, Ham-burg, 1890, pp. 49–82; “Die Stamm- und Familienverhältnisse der transilvanischen Zelt-Zigeuner”, GlobuŞ Braunschweig, 53 (1888), pp. 183–189; “Beiträge zu den Stammesverhältnissen der siebenbürgischen Zigeuner”, Ethnologische Mitteilungen aus Ungarn, I (1889), pp. 336–338.

115 Concise data on the organisation of the Gypsies in the Romanian lands: N. GrigoraŞ, op. cit., (II), pp. 52–58; G. Potra, Contribuţiuni, pp. 71–74; Instituţii feudale, pp. 412–413. For Transylvania see below p. 62–63 with note 124.

116 Hurmuzaki, I/2, p. 527.

117 Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenbürgen, VII, p. 113.

118 T. Codrescu, op. cit., pp. 286–287. These privileges were renewed in 1804 (G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni, pp. 327–331).

119 G. Potra, ContribuŢiuni, pp. 72–73.

120 DRH, B, I, pp. 201–202;

121 T. G. Bulat “Dregătoria armăşiişi ţiganii”, p. 7.

122 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în Transilvania în secolul al xvii-lea, vol. I, BucharesŢ 1986, p. 110.

123 Instituţii feudale, pp. 412–413.

124 See H. M. G. Grellman, op. cit., pp. 138–147; A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 17–18, 28; D. Prodan, Iobăgia în Transilvania în secolul al xvii-lea, vol. I, pp. 109–110.

125 A. Gebora, op. cit., p. 17.

126 B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 78–79.

127 D. Prodan, loc. cit.

128 B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 71–74.

129 J. Ficowski, Wieviel Trauen und Wege. Zigeuner in Polen, Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, Paris 1992, pp. 21–34.

130 D. Prodan, Iobăgia în Transilvania în secolul al xvii-lea, vol. I, p. 109.

131 “Through their current organisation, the Gypsies show to us how the Romanians were organised in the thirteenth century: their heads the voivodes wore their hair long, wore reed slippers they held the juzi under their authority; the names chosen by the Romanian princes were adopted by their slaves: Vlad, Dan, Radu. They have even preserved certain linguistic archaisms.” (N. Iorga, Locul românilor în istoria universală, ed. R. Constantinescu, Bucharest 1985, p. 128.)

132 See Helga Köpstein, op. cit.

133 See Al. Gonta, op. cit., pp. 307–311, together with the references in the notes.

134 B. D. Grekov, op. cit., pp. 141–163 and 560–577.

135 For this problem see Ch. Verlinden, L’Esclavage dans l’Europe médiévale, vols. I–II, Brugge-Ghent 1955–1977.

136 Istoria României, ed. M. Roller, BucharesŢ 1947, p. 385.

137 See H. Inalcik, “Servile Labor in the Ottoman Empire”, in The Mutual Effects of the Islamic and Judeo-Christian Worlds: The East European Pattern, eds. Ascher, T. Halasi-Kun and B. K. Király, Brooklyn N.Y., 1979, pp. 25–52.

138 See above p. 29 with note 9.

139 G. Soulis op. cit., pp.164–165; A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 50–51.

140 See F. de Vaux de Foletier, op. cit., p. 42ff.

141 For anti-Gypsy measures and policies in Western countries in the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern era, see A. Colocci, op. cit., pp. 67–107; J-P. CléberŢ op. cit., p. 83ff; F. de Vaux de Foletier, op. cit., p. 58ff; M. Hasenberger, “Die Zigeuner in Europa mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des mittel- und südosteuropäischen Raumes. Ein historischer Abriß über die Reaktionen zwischen Wirtsvölker und Zigeuner” (doctoral thesis), Vienna, 1983, p. 22ff; R. Stangl, “Die Verfolgung der Zigeuner im deutschsprachigen Raum Mitteleuropas von ihrer Anfängen bis heute” (final-year undergraduate dissertation), Vienna, 1986, p. 18ff; J. S. Hohmann, Verfolgte ohne Heimat. Geschichte der Zigeuner in Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, PariŞ 1990, pp. 17–26; A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 85–190.

142 Dj. Petrovic´, op. cit.

143 R. Stangl, op. cit., pp. 16–17.

144 Ilse Rochow, K-P. Matschke, op. cit., p. 253.

145 G. Soulis op. cit., p. 151ff.

146 See following sub-chapter.

147 A. Răduţiu, Populaţia Transilvaniei în ajunul călătoriei din anul 1773 a lui Iosif al II-lea, in Sabin Manuilă Istorie Şi demografie. Studii privind societatea românească între secolele xvi–xx, coord. S. Bolovan, and I. Bolovan Cluj-Napoca, 1995, pp. 76–77.

148 C. Fenesan, Izvoare de demografie istorică, vol. I (Secolul al xviii-lea. Transilvania), Bucharest 1986, table XI.

149 Fr. Griselini, Încercare de istorie politicăşi naturală a Banatului Timişoarei, translated by C. Feneşan, Timişoara, 1984, pp. 157–158.

150 For the policy of the two emperors with regard to the Gypsies see: H. M. G. Grellmann, op. cit., pp. 143–151; I. H. Schwicker, Die Zigeuner in Ungarn und Siebenbürgen, Vienna und Teschen, 1883, p. 53ff; M. Tomka, “A cigányok története”, in Cigányok, honnét jöttek — merre tartanak?, ed. L. Szegô, BudapesŢ 1983, pp. 46–49; B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 14–19; R. Stangl, op. cit., pp. 32–35; Gy. Szabó, Die Roma in Ungarn. Ein Beitrag zur Sozialgeschichte einer Minderheit in Ost- und Mitteleuropa, Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York, PariŞ 1991, pp. 69–75; A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 157–159.

151 See I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 53–56.

152 H. M. G. Grellmann, op. cit., pp. 147–150.

153 The text was republished in B. Mezey et al., op. cit., pp. 85–94. See I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 56–58.

154 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 62–69.

155 See R. Stangl, op. cit., pp. 34–35.

156 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., pp. 59–61.

157 A. Fraser, op. cit., pp. 159–160.

158 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., p. 61.

159 Ibid., p. 70.

160 S. l., s.a., p. 17 in folio. The material was republished in Ethnologische Mitteilungen aus Ungarn, III (1893–1894), pp. 55–56, 114–116, 168–170, 210–212, 221–223. See also A. Gebora, op. cit., pp. 52–60.

161 I. H. Schwicker, op. cit., p. 70.

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