Historical Timeline

Prior to 400 CE -
Groups of Indians become nomadic craftsmen and entertainers.

420 - 438 CE
Bahram Gur, Shah of Persia, brought some musicians and dancers from India to Persia. Hamza, the Arab historian (950 AD) called these musicians "Zott."
669 or 670 CE -
The Caliph Muawiya brought several families of Zott and Sayabiga who had worked for the Shah from Basra to Antioch. This seems to have been a precautionary measure to remove from the Arab headquarters these untrustworthy elements who might still feel sympathy with the deposed Persian ruler.

710 CE -
Some of the Zott from the south were resettled in the Antioch region by Caliph Walid I.
720 CE -
Caliph Yazid II sent more Zott from the south to the Antioch region. These Zott were sent there as herdsmen along with their buffaloes. There were colonies then in Antioch itself as well as the neighboring settlements of Masisa and Buka.

820 - 834 CE
Zott state established on the banks of the Tigris River. 27,000 Zott were taken to Baghdad after their defeat. They were then deported and resettled in two towns in the north-east, Khaneikin and Ainzarba (Aintab).
855 CE -

The Greeks captured Ainzarba and the Zott were deported once more, this time to mainland Greece. Other captives went elsewhere in the Arab empire, to Khaneikin and the Syrian border. (These probably formed the main bulk of the unskilled Romanies who moved north into Armenia and then into Europe, ending up working the fields in the Balkans and elsewhere.)

1050 CE -
Earliest reference to Gypsies ("Athingani" - heathens) in Constantinople. They were astrologers, fortune-tellers, acrobats, snake charmers, bear trainers and vetinerary surgeons.

(Some Zott evidently did cross from Antioch to the Mediterranean islands) We have a report by the monk Symon Simeonis of a nomadic people living on the island of Crete. He wrote, "There also we saw a race outside the city asserting themselves to be of the family of Ham (Noah's son). They rarely or never stop in one place beyond thirty days but always wander and flee as if accursed by God, and after the thirtieth day they remove themselves from field to field with their oblong tents, black and low, and from cave to cave."

1320 -
Kenrick surmised the following dates for the arrival of the Gypsies to the Greek islands: 1322-Crete, 1373 or earlier-Corfu, 1384-Modon, 1397 or earlier-Nauplie. These Gypsies were part of a general movement from Asia Minor to Europe.
The Gypsies who landed on Cyprus around 1322 probably came across from the Crusader colonies on the eastern Mediterranean coast-present day Lebanon and Israel.
1468 CE-
Written record of Gypsies in Cyprus. In the Chronicle of Cyprus compiled by Florio Bustron, the "Cingani" are said to have paid tax to the royal treasury, at that time King James II.

1549 CE -
The French traveler Andre Theret found "les Egyptiens ou Bohemiens" in Cyprus and other Mediterranean islands. He observed their simple way of life, supported by the production of nails by the men and belts by the women, which were sold to the local population.

1574 - 1595 CE
The historian Selaniki Mustafa reported that Gypsies could be found among the regiments of janissaries during the reign of Sultan Murad Khan.


1806 CE -
The Domari language was first recorded by a Western scholar (Seetzen) at which time it contained many Arabic loan words. The grammar, however, remained distinctively Indian.

1806 - 1812 CE
First specific, written reference to Gypsies in Algeria (See Six Years' Residence in Algiers, Broughton, published in 1839).
1970's -
"Nawar intermarried with Romanies crossed from Algeria into France." (D. Kenrick)

1987 -
Report of Gypsies ("Ghagar") in Oman.

Oct/99 -
Establishment of "Domari: The Society of Gypsies in Israel" by Miss Amoun Sleem. The Society exists to promote education for Dom children and various other community enhancement projects.



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