Nelson Bennett is a Late Antiquity historian from Aotearoa New Zealand. Nelson achieved First Class Honours in his BAHons from Victoria University of Wellington in 2018, with his Honours project focussing on the historical reinterpretations of the imperial coronation of Charlemagne.
In 2021 Nelson finished his Masters with First Class Honours at University of Auckland. His project was entitled Women in Power in the Merovingian Anarchy and focussed on a series of powerful Frankish queens, arguing for a critical reassessment of their importance in Frankish politics. This was his first foray into the focus on gender and politics in Late Antiquity.
In 2023 Nelson started his PhD at Central European University, continuing the focus on women in Late Antiquity. His doctoral project covers the post-Roman royal courts in the West, seeking to identify and analyse any commonalities or differences in the gender dynamics at play in and around the courts. Utilising the same mix of gender theory and textual analysis used in his Masters thesis Nelson hopes to determine the experiences of women in the new courts of the former Western Roman Empire and whether a broader reassessment of their role in and power over these courts is needed.
In between his academic studies Nelson worked for Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum on their Online Cenotaph Collection, helping maintain their database and writing articles for the public. He also started ‘The Merovingians’ podcast online, which he writes and hosts.