Ancients or moderns?

Dalrymple in his BMJ column:

It is a melancholy reflection (but also a testimony to the fact of more recent progress) that the question of whether the ancients or moderns were best was a live one in the first half of the 18th century, with regard not only to literature, where progress is perhaps rather difficult to assess or measure, but also to medicine, where progress is rather less difficult to recognise.

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