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In many medieval RTS games soldiers come out of a building named 'Barracks'. Where did medieval soldiers actually train ? Did such specialised buildings exist ? Most peasants probably got no training at all, and nobles trained at home I suppose, but what about levy troops that did train ?

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    What research on your own did you do? For instance... – CGCampbell Jun 1 '15 at 22:38
  • @CGCampbell Not a lot of info there about the medieval period. For example, lords had to provide armies to their liege, but it doesn't seem barracks were common in the feudal castle or city. So I'm still curious, for soldiers that did train, where did they train. – Mihai Rotaru Jun 2 '15 at 5:47
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While the concept of the barracks was in use in Roman times, the concept of a standing army fell out of use by the Middle Ages:

The use of mercenaries by the English is not surprising, since the old "feudal" system of raising armies (a system that had never really worked on a large scale) had been pretty much abandoned in Europe.

As such, knights and the like did have specialized training areas (as under livery and maintenance), but the bulk of armies was composed of mercenaries and the self-trained. This is, incidentally, why the English longbow and quarterstaff took off; the bow was already used by peasants to hunt, and the quarterstaff was popular among the peasantry for self-defense.

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    I love that you provided links for backup (something a distressing amount of newish users don't do). However, I don't see that second link saying anything about standing armies. Either I'm missing something, or perhaps it should be moved to another chunk of text? – T.E.D. Jun 1 '15 at 23:28
  • "the concept of a standing army fell out of use by the Middle Ages" - this is not actually correct. There were plenty of states that could employ professional armies (Byzantine empire, HRE, Teutonic order, prince's druzhina in Russia, Spanish Empire and many others). Also in Italy mercenaries were common. – Anixx Jun 2 '15 at 7:47
  • "This is, incidentally, why the English longbow and quarterstaff took off;" is it really because peasent ? or is it because rise of rifles and guns ? – moudiz Jun 2 '15 at 11:36
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    @moudiz The rifle overtook the longbow eventually, but not in the Middle Ages. T.E.D. Going to add the quote "The use of mercenaries by the English is not surprising, since the old "feudal" system of raising armies (a system that had never really worked on a large scale) had been pretty much abandoned in Europe" Anixx When we talk about the Middle/Dark Ages, we're almost entirely talking about Europe, from which the Byzantine Empire was mostly gone. The Spanish Empire didn't take place until after the Middle ages, Rome was dead, and the Druzhina weren't in such high numbers for most of it. – Carpe CM Jun 2 '15 at 17:31
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    This is not entirely correct, in the feudal system, standing armies did exist on a smaller scale in the form of men-at-arms. These men did live in barracks at Castles or other garrison posts and would have a system of training. Sorry, i do not have time to answer the question more completely at the moment, but pursue inquiry along these lines. – Stuart Allan Jun 2 '15 at 19:34

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