Atsingani
(Athingani)
("Ungodly")
   Heretical Christian sect that flourished in the Byzantine Empire during the eighth and ninth centuries. The term was used pejoratively and two Byzantine emperors (Michael II and Nikephorus I) were referred to by their enemies as athingani. When the Gypsies arrived from the east, they did not practice Christianity but were probably still following Hinduism or Zoroastrianism. As a result, they, too, were called athingani. The Atsingani who settled in Thrace (near the modern town of Plovdiv in Bulgaria) from 803 may well have been Gypsies. The term has survived in the names given to the Gypsies in many countries, including cingene in Turkey, tsigan in most Slav-speaking countries, and the German Zigeuner, Italian zingari, and French tsigane.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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