from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The art of siege warfare, namely, that of conducting or resisting a siege.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The art or science of besieging towns.
Modem military thinkers may make a tripartite classification of topics of military thought into strategy, military operations, and tactics, but such categories were alien to the Byzantines, who knew of such ones as strategy, tactics, stratagems, poliorcetics or the art of besieging a city, and naval warfare.
The multitude of methods involved in taking a strongpoint - starving, mining, storming, bombardment, treachery, bribery, ruse and, most usually of all, negotiations - indicate how large a branch of conflict poliorcetics siege warfare is it is also the most important part.
But, as has been pointed out, the details recorded are "the commonplaces of poliorcetics," and may have been borrowed by Josephus from some military text-book and neatly applied.
But, as has been pointed out, the details recorded are “the commonplaces of poliorcetics,” and may have been borrowed by Josephus from some military text-book and neatly applied.
Were it merely with a view to more effectual carnage, this art (however simple and gross at first) opened at length into wide scientific arts, into strategies, into tactics, into castrametation, into poliorcetics, and all the processes through which the first rude efforts of martial cunning finally connect themselves with the exquisite resources of science.
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