While they may have been publicly and socially viewed as inferior to men, Egyptian women enjoyed a great deal of legal and financial independence. They could buy and sell property, serve on juries, make wills and even enter into legal contracts. Unlike the women of ancient Greece, who were effectively owned by their husbands, Egyptian women also had the right to divorce and remarry. Egyptian couples were even known to negotiate an ancient prenuptial agreement. These contracts listed all the property and wealth the woman had brought into the marriage and guaranteed that she would be compensated for it in the event of a divorce.
Gypsy is a short name for "Egyptian". Gypsies were originally thought to have come from Egypt and some of the earliest references to them in English, dating back to the 16th century, call them "Egyptians". They were accompanied by a legend that they had been expelled from Egypt for trying to hide Jesus. A genetic analysis of 13 Gypsy groups around Europe, published in Current Biology journal, has revealed that the arrival on the continent of their forebears from northern India happened far earlier than was thought, about 1,500 years ago.