I had the pleasure of teaching a class at a recent Renaissance Symposium entitled "Renaissance Military Science and Elizabethan Military History" this weekend in Palo Alto, in partnership with my compadre Nick Worthington.
It was rather fun, and we had the opportunity to "Spread the Gospel" about our own interest of the Military History of the era and how to reenact it. Nick focused for the most part on the social aspects, such as how all men of military age (16-to-60) were not only liable for military service in the Militia, but also that they were in fact called up from three to four times a year for training. Thus almost all men in Elizabeth's reign would have had some form of knowledge of the Military Arts of the day.
I of course focused mainly on the Theory of War, and it's heavy emphasis on the triumvarate of Heavy Cavalry, Pike Squares, and Missile Weapons, especially in the wars in France and Italy. However, as most of the English experience in war of the era was in the Low Countries, there was little arena for the English to display their martial ardour in the open field, and instead had to endure the worst form of war, the Siege.
We tried hard NOT to get bogged down in technicalities of war, and of the instruments, but rather paint with a broader brush the greater realities of Renaissance Warfare. However, we of course brought LOTS of nifty items to show off with, from armour to swords, to the firearms of the era.
We also manned the "Renaissance Military Society" table to further spread the gospel of our "truth", and were gratified with many fine conversations with the attendees of the symposium. I may even have found a fellow cavalryman to form up with! All in all, a good time was had by all.