Mathieu Ossendrijver is an Assyriologist, historian of science and astrophysicist. His main research areas are Babylonian astral science and mathematics. Since 2021 he is the principal investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant project ZODIAC – Ancient Astral Science in Transformation which is based at the Institute for the History of Knowledge in the Ancient World, Free University Berlin.
Ossendrijver received a PhD in astrophysics in 1996 (Utrecht University) and pursued research on solar and stellar dynamos until 2005, when his research switched to Babylonian astronomy. After receiving visiting scholarships at the NINO (2005/2006) and the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES, Tübingen) he obtained a PhD in Assyriology (2010) with a thesis about the Babylonian astronomical procedure texts (University of Tübingen). Since then he has worked on related topics as a visiting scholar of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York (2010/2011), the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES), Tübingen (2011), and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Berlin (2011-2019).
From 2013 until 2018 he was a professor for the history of ancient science at the Institute of Philosophy of the Humboldt University Berlin.
In 2019 and 2020 he was a fellow at the Einstein Center Chronoi (Berlin) and in the research group “Rethinking Oriental Despotism” (Berlin).
- Weather Prediction in Babylonia, in: M. Ossendrijver (ed.), Proceedings of the Workshop “Scholars, Priests, and Temples: Babylonian and Egyptian Science in Context”, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History 8, 2021
- Babylonian market predictions, in: J. Haubold, J. Steele, K. Stevens (eds.), Keeping Watch in Babylon. The Astronomical Diaries in Context (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, 100), Brill, 53-78, 2019
- Babylonian Scholarship and the Calendar during the reign of Xerxes, in: C. Waerzeggers, M. Seire (eds.), Xerxes and Babylonia. The Cuneiform Evidence (OLA 277), Peeters, 135-163, 2018
- Chaldeans on the Nile: Two Egyptian Astronomical Procedure Texts with Babylonian Systems A1 and A2 for Mercury (with A. Winkler), in: C.J. Crisostomo, E.A. Escobar, T. Tanaka, N. Veldhuis (eds.), The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts: Essays on Assyriology and the History of Science in Honor of Francesca Rochberg, Leiden: Brill, 382-419, 2018
- Bisecting the trapezoid: tracing the origins of a Babylonian computation of Jupiter's motion, Archive for History of Exact Sciences 72, 145-189, 2018
- Ancient Babylonian astronomers calculated Jupiter’s position from the area under a time-velocity graph, Science 351, 482-484, 2016
- Babylonian Mathematical Astronomy. Procedure Texts (Springer, Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics), 2012
- Translating Babylonian Astronomical Diaries and Procedure Texts, in: A. Imhausen, T. Pommerening (eds.), Translating Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Methodological Aspects with Examples, De Gruyter, 125-172, 2016
- The Powers of 9 and Related Mathematical Tables from Babylon, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 66, 149-169, 2014
- Science in Action: Networks in Babylonian Astronomy, in: E. Cancik-Kirschbaum, M. van Ess, J. Marzahn (eds.), Babylon – Wissenskultur zwischen Orient und Okzident, TOPOI Berlin Studies of the Ancient World, 229-237, 2011
- The Story of the Magi in the Light of Alexander the Great’s Encounters with Chaldeans, in: P. Bartel, G. van Kooten (eds.), The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi. Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman world, and Modern Astronomy, Brill, 217-230, 2015