On the other hand the Gauls doubtless
employed in the Channel in Caesar's time, as for long afterwards,
a species of portable leathern skiffs, which seem to have been
in the main common oared boats, but on the west coast of Gaul
the Santones, the Pictones, and above all the Veneti sailed in large
though clumsily built ships, which were not impelled by oars
but were provided with leathern sails and iron anchor-chains;
and they employed these not only for their traffic with Britain,
but also in naval combat.
Here therefore we not only meet
for the first time with navigation in the open ocean, but we find
that here the sailing vessel first fully took the place
of the oared boat--an improvement, it is true, which the declining
activity of the old world did not know how to turn to account,
and the immeasurable results of which our own epoch of renewed culture
is employed in gradually reaping.