Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn: Beggars at the door, etching, 1648


Today’s society still has the rich and the poor, those with possessions and those who have none. However, earlier societies were not based on equal rights for all people: having possessions, especially in the form of land, was associated with membership of social and political elites; being without possessions, on the other hand, meant a life in dependency, often in poverty.

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