Men and Women in History: Great Leaders

The world has seen many great leaders who strove hard to make the world a better place to live in. This series looks at the lives and achievements of some of the most important and influential leaders in history.


Tuesday 8 May, 10am – 12pm, Presenter Elizabeth Eltze

The Royalty of Kush: Powerhouse of ancient North-East Africa

During the eighth century BC, a new and powerful group of rulers arose in the area south of Egypt’s borders (today known as the Sudan). These were the royalty of ancient Kush.

These African rulers became one of the most powerful and enduring elite groups in the ancient world. Their rulership over vast areas of North-East Africa lasted almost 1200 years and included the land of Egypt itself for some time. Some of the most beautiful and impressive architecture and art of the ancient world comes from this geographical region during this period.

This session will begin with an introduction to the relevant geographical areas and chronologies. Our journey will then continue with a discussion of the earliest kings of ancient Kush, especially those who conquered and ruled over ancient Egypt. In particular, their building works and art will be discussed.

Thursday 10 and 17 May, 10am – 12pm, Presenter Matthew Trundle

The Leaders of Athens and Rome: Pericles and Augustus

Session two and three in this series will explore the significance and contributions of two of the most famous leaders from classical antiquity.  Session two will examine the life of Pericles and his contribution to both Empire and Democracy.  Session three will look at the life, achievements and legacy of the first Emperor of Rome, Augustus. Both sessions will focus on the ancient evidence we have for them and recent discussions of both men.


  • 3 x sessions, Tuesday 8 May, Thursday 10 & 17 May, 10am – 12pm
  • $65.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Elizabeth Eltze and Matthew Trundle

Seminar presenter

Elizabeth Eltze

Elizabeth Eltze

PhD candidate in Classics and Ancient History

Elizabeth is a current PhD candidate in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Auckland, under the supervision of Professor Anthony Spalinger. She has done both her Masters in Ancient History and her BA Hons in Ancient History at the University of Auckland. Her undergraduate degree was also completed at the University of Auckland, with a double major in Ancient History and German.

She has tutored and taught ancient Egyptian language at the University of Auckland, and has also tutored ancient Greek history. Her current research interests include ancient Kushite history and heritage, ancient Egyptian language and religion, and material culture of both societies. Her PhD thesis is focused on the creation and display of both royal and individual identity in the texts and artefacts of the fifth century B.C. Napatan king Amannote-erike.

Matthew Trundle

Matthew Trundle


Matthew Trundle is Chair and Professor of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Auckland. He holds degrees from Nottingham and McMaster Universities and has published widely on military and social-economic aspects of the ancient world. Matthew’s stimulating lectures during the tour is a vital element to the success of educating participants. Matthew’s areas of expertise include Ancient Greek history, especially social, economic and military history.

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