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In the ancient world, until the end of the 5th century B.C., innovations in the art of defense and siege were minimal. The safety of the walls, the numerical supremacy but mainly the bravery of soldiers were usually the chief comparative advantages of opponents. However, the Greeks managed to change the facts in this sector, as well.
The beginning was in Syracuse in 399 B.C. (during the rule of Dionysius the Elder), with the systematised aid of technology in defense of the city. In the decades that followed, a multitude of engineers experimented, with the result being the production of the oxybeles catapults (launchers of arrows and small stones of long range and powerful impact force) but also other machinery, such as the incredible war machines of Archimedes ranking at the top.
Yet, the greatest drive for siege art was realised by the Macedonians (Philip II, Alexander the Great and his Successors), with the production of powerful catapults but also with the invention of astonishing and impressive siege machines. At that time, they also constructed the remarkable armoured vehicles (“tanks”), such as the giant siege towers (helepolises, sing. helepolis), the all-powerful roofed rams, the effective borers, etc.
The leading achievement of that period, however, was the polybolos catapult of the Rhodians, a mechanism for the continuous automatic launching of arrows.

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