Glamping with Guns. Louis XIV, the Camp of Compiegne and the Origins of the Modern Military Exercise

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


This was an inaugural lecture, for my professorial appointment in the School of History, chaired by the Principal. It looked at the Camp of Compiegne held in 1698 by Louis XIV as the world's first major training exercise, at the level of division-size and higher, in preparation for future warfare, seeking some of its own origins in the previous two centuries, and revealing comparisons and contrasts with the military exercises that became much more frequent and regular from the later 19th century. Attendance was approximately 100 people: within the university this ranged from 3rd-year undergraduate students to the Principal, and there were numerous audience members from outside academia, including officers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. It will be publicised internationally once a webcast version is ready; and it will act to promote interest in the subject prior to a major bid for project funding in 2018/19.
Period17 Apr 2017
Held atUniversity of St Andrews
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • France
  • Louis XIV
  • Compiègne
  • Armies
  • Military Exercises
  • Military History