The fall from gold to silver was, alas, the mere beginning of a continuing downward slope of degradation that saw a steady metallic descent through Ages of Bronze and Iron. Fortunately the classical period ended before things could get much worse, which they have continued to do ever since. Though no poet has shouldered the task—How could one? We have no epic poets any more—the materials are there awaiting. The world has had its Ages of Ceramic, of Wood, and of Papier-Mâché. I think we are now in a transitional period between the Age of Cardboard and the Age of Bubblewrap.
— John Fleming, at his blog, here.