This book is the most comprehensive account of the history of Roma-Gypsies on the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. It leads the reader through the eventful past of a people on the margins of contemporary Europe. Using previously unpublished documents, Lech Mr¢z contributes to a new self-definition of Romani people in contemporary Europe. The author overturns present stereotypes and popular media images of the social status of Roma-Gypsies in Eastern Europe, especially of their relations with state authorities, showing how the position of Roma-Gypsies shifted gradually from respected, wealthy, and partly settled citizens of the early modern times, towards criminalized vagrants of the eighteenth century. Roma-Gypsy Presence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth will reward those interested in the development of state policies towards ethnic minorities and their influence on popular imageries.
adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.