In response to:
The Art of Abraham Lincoln from the July 16, 1992 issue
To the Editors:
In his review of Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills [NYR, July 16], James M. McPherson makes an apt comparison between Lincoln’s speech and the Funeral Oration of Pericles as reported by Thucycides. But I noticed, and I suppose many other readers noticed, that he assigns the Periclean speech to 531 BC, a whole century too early.
We can at least be thankful that no classical author ever claimed that Pericles jotted down his notes for the Funeral Oration on the verso of a used sheet of papyrus.
Gordon M. Messing
Emeritus Professor of Classics and Linguistics
Ithaca, New York
August 13, 1992