For most of the Middle Ages, warfare and society were dominated by the
cavalry (horse-mounted soldiers), composed of individual
knights. Knights were generally drawn from the aristocracy, while the infantry levies were raised from commoners. This situation slowed the advance
of infantry tactics and weapon technologies; those that were developed by the
end of the Middle Ages included the use of long spears or halberds to counter the long reach of knights'
lances, and the increased use of ranged weaponry to counter the cavalry's advantages of momentum, speed, height, and reach.
Man-at-arms (or sometimes armsman) was a medieval term for a soldier, almost always a professional. It was most often used to refer to men
in a knight's or lord's retinue who were well-equipped and well-trained (deriving from having men under arms - meaning to be trained in the use