Au contraire. There has been no significant development of language and literature since classical antiquity.
Language and literature, following the common thread of nature itself, is devolving, not evolving. The more complex and beautiful the language and literature, the older it is. The common objection to this theory of literature devolution goes like this: "Cave drawings are signs of primitive pre-speech and pre-writing cultures prior to man's linguistic evolution."
Not so fast.
Some cave drawings are magnificent, colorful, and so filled with pictorial narrative, they elicit envy from many modern artists. If it is pointed out that there are also primitive line drawings and stick-figures on cave walls, it should be remembered that similar drawings are found on the inside of most toilet doors in our day. Stick drawings themselves are never proof of a monosyllabic language.
Languages and literature are devolving, not evolving. Why is this true? Because mankind is also devolving. C.S. Lewis gives the best explanation for this devolution of mankind.
"God invented mankind as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended - civilisations are built up - excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans." (Excerpt from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity).Only those with a connection to God make progress in this life, including writing beautiful literature. My friend, Dr. George Ella, puts it like this: "You are never far from heaven when reading the best of Christian literature. However many blessings you have received in this way, there are still many to come."
C.S. Lewis would agree. William Cowper would nod his assent. George McDonald would have voiced his vocal affirmative. The only hope for the devolution of literature to end, and for literature and language to begin moving from lesser to greater is for an entire host of writers to come in contact with the Author of life. The dumbing down of human language and literature is a direct result of mankind living life without the 'right juice.'
So though Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook all seem to point to a bright age of communication, the reality is much darker. Mankind is devolving and carrying the beautiful complexity of human communication into the proverbial toilet.