Equality, difference, and inferiority amongst individuals are topics that are currently very controversial. In The History of the Peloponnesian War, The Apology, Phaedo, and The Republic, it is evident how Thucydides and Plato define each of these aforementioned ideas. Thucydides and Plato have differing opinions about what makes equality existent or nonexistent in a society and how this equality or inequality creates inferiority and difference between individuals.
In The History of the Peloponnesian War it is clear that Thucydides is in favor of equality. Pericles' eulogy shows that it is his belief that all men should be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law. Warfare, public matters, and immigration are a few examples of citizen's equal treatment before the law. Athenian soldiers held great deals of respect in society and no matter their position or rank were buried with the same honor and respect. The men that serve in the army are seen as brave and as a result are treated equally and presented with a proper burial and eulogium. Pericles states that a man is worthy of being remembered for his heroism, no matter his standing, if he is able to serve his state. Conversely, a poor man who commits treason or murder should suffer the same punishment as a rich man who commits the same crimes. Pericles praises Athenian law for its ability to teach men to set aside all differences and live at peace with one another. An uneducated man is equally as capable as an intelligent man and can render an opinion on public matters such as politics or economics allowing Athens to become a place that values cultivation and knowledge. Pericles refers to knowledge as "without effeminacy, " which shows that it is his belief that woman are inferior to men and are not capable of attaining the appropriate amount of knowledge to participate in any public matters. Pericles goes on to say, "If I must say anything on the subject of female excellence to those of you who will now be in widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation.