Bob Prokop writes:
I found a good quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson who anticipates Lewis' condemnation of "chronological snobbery". This is from his essay "Self Reliance" (1841):
No greater men are now than ever were. A singular equality may be observed between the great men of the first and of the last ages; nor can all the science, art, religion, and philosophy of the nineteenth century avail to educate greater men than Plutarch's heroes, three or four and twenty centuries ago. Not in time is the race progressive.