Shadow Agents of War Workshop (4 June 2019, Raeburn Room, Old College, Edinburgh)

This workshop will build on some of the questions raised in the June 2018 workshop on ‘Women and War’ co-organised by Prof. Bowd and Dr Cockram: Participants will discuss the humans and other animals sometimes overlooked by historians of war, highlight relevant sources, and map out productive methodologies and historiographical approaches which can help to transform our understanding of pre-modern war. Topics will include doctors and heralds, refugees, armourers and gun-makers, amateur spies, peasant militia, and engineers.

Prof. Stephen Bowd (Edinburgh), Dr Sarah Cockram (Edinburgh), and Dr John Gagné (Sydney), the co-organisers of this workshop, are very pleased to announce the programme:

09.30am – Tea, Coffee and Welcome (Stephen Bowd)

Session 1: The Unwilling Agents of War

10.15am – Dr Neil Murphy (Northumbria), ‘Refugees, Forced Migration and Henry VIII’s Conquest of France, 1544-6’

10.45am – Dr Sarah Cockram (Edinburgh), ‘Animals and War’

11.15am – Ms Victoria Bartels (Cambridge), ‘Crime and Punishment: Convicts and the Medicean Galleys in Cinquecento Tuscany’

11.45am – Reflective Session

12.00 – Lunch (Spoon Restaurant, opposite Old College)

Session 2: The Organisers of War

1.00pm – Prof. William Caferro (Vanderbilt), ‘Bell Ringers, Accountants and City Leagues in Trecento Florence’ 

1.30pm – Dr Ioanna Iordanou (Oxford Brookes), ‘Unexceptional Men in Exceptional Circumstances: Commoners and Criminals as Amateur Spies in Renaissance Venice’s Secret Service’

2.00pm – Dr Cristiano Zanetti (Villa I Tatti, Florence), ‘“Renaissance Engineers” in the Shadow of Mars’

2.30pm – Tea, Coffee and Cakes (Carstares Room)

Session 3: The Suppliers of War

2.30pm – Dr Catherine Fletcher (Swansea), ‘Agents of firearms supply in sixteenth-century Italy’

3.00pm – Dr John Gagné (Sydney), ‘Hypotheses on heralds, captains, and spoils of war around 1500’

3.30pm – Mr Ralph Moffat (Burrell Collection, Glasgow) ‘From an Armour Fitting on TV to Swords in Wee! Representing Non-Combatants in the Burrell Collection’

4.00pm – Prof. Sam Cohn (Glasgow) Response and Reflective Session

5.00pm – Close

The workshop has been made possible by an award made to Dr Gagné and Prof. Bowd under the aegis of the The University of Sydney’s Partnership Collaboration Awards (PCA).

Postgraduate participation has been made possible by a generous grant from the UK’s Society for Renaissance Studies.

For further information about this event, including PhD participation, contact, or, or


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