Prior to the 20th century, representation of Romani and Traveller people has been seen exclusively through the eyes of non-Romani artists, writers, and chroniclers (such as Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia, 1544), even when those writers were reporting Romani words and opinions, through the non-Romani 'gaze'.
Their inevitable distortions, prejudices and frequent stereotypes (often copied directly from previous writers' works) were the frameworks that 'Egyptians' (hence, 'Gypsies') were slotted into. This had been the case since the very earliest arrivals of the ancestors of modern Romani populations in Constantinople, around 1050 Common Era (CE), when they were ascribed the identity of 'Egyptians' on the basis of practising divination and magic.
Mistaken identification with Christian dualists1 had led to the Romani people being labelled as Atsinganoi, a group that had long ceased to exist in the Byzantine Empire. Originally, these 'heretics' were from Phrygia in the Anatoliques thema (administrative territory) but were persecuted and deported into the Balkan lands (as Bogomils), Italian territories (as Paulicians) and ultimately migrated into the Languedoc (as Cathars or Albigensians).
This misidentification led to a significant 'split' between those societies that adopted the term 'Egyptian' (later 16th century, 'Gypsies'), and occasionally recognised their “Egypte speche” as related to Greek in some fashion (most of western and northern Europe), and those that adopted the pejorative term Atsinganoi (or variants thereof, i.e., Tsigan, etc.), predominantly in south-eastern, eastern and central Europe.
In France, where Romani groups arrived around 1421CE, the term shifted from 'Egyptian' to 'Tsigane' (a variant of Atsinganoi), before settling, to some degree, around 'Bohemians'2. Terminology was bound to (non–Romani) representation in 16th and 17th century woodcuts, paintings and engravings. The majority referred to 'Egyptian', though 'heathen', 'Tartar', and 'Turk'3 were also used in various contexts in central Europe, the German lands, and the Baltic region.
1 'Dualists', such as the Manichaeans, Paulicians, and Bogomils, were believers in two deities, God and the Demiurge. The former was the Creator of the perfect universe, but the latter (often identified with Lucifer, Satanael, or the Bright Angel), was the materialist in Creation, and so the harbinger of evil, corruption and sin. See Styanov, Yuri (1994), The Hidden Tradition in Europe: The Secret History of Medieval Christian Heresy, London: Penguin Arkana
2 With the perceived connection to the Czech lands and Hussite heresy, a form of proto-Protestantism, in the 15th century CE, and the Hussite Wars, 1415CE to 1434CE, see Huss and his followers and Histoire De La Guerre Des Hussites Et Du Concile De Basle
3 In Andrew Boorde’s Fyrst Boke of Knowledge…, 'Egyptians' appear in the chapter following the chapter about the "…natural disposicion of the Turkes, and of Turkey, and of theyr money, and theyr speche" pp.215 – 216