No Better Than WomenIn the event that you haven't gathered so by now, there was profound social, political, and sexual inequality between men and women in the ancient world. Socrates' close friends and interlocutors were all men, whose positive references to women were few and far between (such as the Pythian priestess mentioned earlier and Diotima in the Symposium). It is not until Plato asserts in his great dialogue The Republic that the ideal ruler is a philosopher-king or queen that the personal, political and intellectual equality of women is affirmed. Until the 20th century, this belief will remain the exception rather than the rule. In the Apology, Socrates affirms the stereotype that men are (or, at least, should be) strong and rational in the face of death while women are filled with emotion.