In the Hellenistic Alexandria of the Ptolemy kings, all prior Hellenic thought was carried over, developed, advanced and grown to gigantic proportions while finding its ultimate and practical application. Men of letters and the arts from around the Greek world arrived and staffed its wondrous Museum with its great Library, which was situated within the royal complex. There lived and acted great scientists, such as Apollonius, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, Conon, Hipparchus etc., as well as three significant engineers, Κtesibios (3rd c. B.C.), Philon of Byzantium (3rd c. B.C.) and Heron of Alexandria (1st c. A.D.), who were the initiators of the famous automata (automatic machines). After the end of the Hellenic-Roman world, their outstanding work spread influencing the Arabian civilisation and in turn spread throughout Europe preparing the Renaissance.
Approximately eighty automata, which constitute an excellent practical application of all the scientific principles known at that time, survived in the books of Heron and Philon in arabic translation.