The dromon was the end result of Byzantine ingenuity applied to old Greek ship designs. Powered by rowers, its primary virtue was its versatility -- the wide, flat decks could be mounted with a variety of weapons. There were many classes of dromon, from light escort and reconnaissance designs to heavy warships. Dromons often included mini-forts made of wood from which marines could sally forth or fire bows, as well as catapults, rams, ballistae, and later, Greek fire launchers. These dangerous and devastating primitive flamethrowers spelled death to enemies in an age where all ships were made of flammable wood and crew were constantly exposed on the upper decks.