The title King of the Gypsies has been claimed or given over the centuries to many different people. It is both culturally and geographically specific. It may be inherited, acquired by acclamation or action, or simply claimed. The extent of the power associated with the title varied; it might be limited to a small group in a specific place, or many people over large areas. In some cases the claim was clearly a public relations exercise. As the term Gypsy is also used in many different ways the King of the Gypsies may be someone with no connection with the Romani people.
It has also been suggested that in places where they were persecuted by local authorities the "King of the Gypsies" is an individual, usually of low standing, who places himself in the risky position of an ad hoc liaison between the Romani and the gadje (non-Romani). The arrest of such a "King" limited the harm to the Romani people.
Read more about King Of The Gypsies: Further Reading
Famous quotes containing the words king of the, king of, king and/or gypsies:
“The first wrote, Wine is the strongest. The second wrote, The king is strongest. The third wrote, Women are strongest: but above all things Truth beareth away the victory.”
—Apocrypha. 1 Esdras, 3:10-12.
Referring to three young men of the bodyguard of Darius, king of the Persians, competing for his favor.
“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a kingand of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up armsI myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.”
—Elizabeth I (15331603)
“The great King of kings
Hath in the table of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
Spurn at his edict, and fulfill a mans?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“My mother said that I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood,”
—Unknown. Gypsies in the Wood (l. 12)