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Should we give a voice to the poor and marginalised?

In any society which champions equality (not to mention liberty and the pursuit of happiness) it is surely of paramount importance that we do not ignore the different concerns and life experiences of those outside of political, social or economic elites, but how can this be achieved in practice? Hearing these voices is difficult in the modern world, but how do we reach these people in past societies? Fourth-century Athens provides a good case study: although the dominant political ideology was one of egalitarianism (albeit a very restricted form of egalitarianism for adult male citizens only), there were considerable inequalities of wealth, status, gender, and class. My research explores the texture of these inequalities and examines the ways in which non-citizens, women and the poor interacted in various ways and contexts with the wealthy citizen elite.

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