Willis Monroe


Research Interests

  • History of the Ancient Near East
  • Astronomy and Astrology
  • History and Philosophy of Science



I work mostly on cuneiform scientific literature of the 1st millennium BCE in ancient Iraq. I am primarily interested in the history of astronomy and astrology. My more recent work has focused on the roll of materiality and physical formatting/structure of texts in the creation and reception of scientific knowledge in Mesopotamia.

I am also currently the managing editor for the Database of Religious History, a international cross-disciplinary project based at UBC (http://www.religiondatabase.org).


Willis Monroe is an Assyriologist with interests in the History of Science. He works on scientific scholarship in the late cuneiform world (Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods, 5th c. BCE – 1st c. CE). He primarily studies material pertaining to the history of astronomy and astrology. More recently he has started working on the role of formatting and structure in scientific texts from cuneiform sources.

Willis received his doctorate from Brown University in Assyriology in 2016 on the topic of the Micro-zodiac texts. He had previously received a BA and MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. He spent eight seasons working as the site registrar for the Ziyaret Tepe excavation in south-eastern Turkey.

2007-2008: BA/MA School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
2016: PhD in Assyriology, Brown University
2016: Visiting Assistant Professor, Brown University
2016: Ongoing Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Asian Studies, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Classical Near Eastern and Religious Studies, University of British Columbia