The main innovation in terms of military technology in the early middle ages was the stirrup. From 100 to 500, there was a seemingly never-ending wave of nomad Horsemen armed with swords, spears, and bows coming out of the Central Asian steppe. The Archers would fire volley after volley into the foot troops. Then, when the Defenders seemed suitably weakened, mounted lancers would charge in. With the aid of the stirrup, the shock effect of these horse lancers was nearly irresistible. Germanic and other European Tribes adopted these Oriental techniques, and out of this came not only the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, but also the development of a mounted, armored "man-at-arms." This included the legendary "knight in shining armor," but most of these men were simply well-trained and experienced swords for hire.