Tobias’ research interests in broad strokes include Greek and Latin poetry, ancient magic and religion, and the history of ideas. But he navigates primarily by Homer, returning to the Iliad and the Odyssey to become oriented for each new journey.
Tobias' first book, Homer's Divine Audience: The Iliad's Reception on Mount Olympus (forthcoming September 2019 from Oxford University Press), offers a new “metaperformative” reading of the Iliad's gods. Part of the book's argument has been published as the paper “What If We Had a War and Everybody Came?”, in War as Spectacle (Bloomsbury 2015).
Tobias has also written two literary essays for the Oxford History of Philosophical Concepts series, an article on the coherence of Theocritus' pastoral poetic universe, and a book chapter on magic and religion in Theocritus' second Idyll. A paper on Theocritean spell-casting in Vergil's eighth Eclogue is in progress.
Two new works in progress focus, respectively, on Odyssean self-knowledge and on Homeric paradoxes of (spatio-visual) perception. The first of these traces the Odyssey's representations of problems of self-knowledge, situating them in the context of later Western philosophy, especially Plato. The second connects the Iliad's treatment of space and time to perceptual paradoxes inherent in viewing celestial bodies such as sun and stars. This project brings recent advances in cognitive science into dialogue with good old-fashioned philology.
Tobias has presented his research at several regional conferences, as well as international conferences at the Open University, King's College London, and the University of Virginia.
Tobias' great professional joy is teaching. He is daily inspired by his students' work and ideas. At Connecticut College, he has taught Elementary Greek; Advanced Greek courses on Herodotus, Lyric Poetry, and Homeric Poetry; Elementary Latin; advanced Latin courses on Horace and Ovid, and on Vergil's Eclogues; introductory courses to Greek and to Roman civilization; a first-year seminar on Socrates; an advanced seminar on Classical Epic; and the experimental course Beauty Stand Still Here, which tracks the relationship between beauty and time in tales of desire, throughout the Western tradition, from Homer to Goethe and Woolf.
- "O Poimen: Addresses and the Structure of the Theocritean Bucolic Milieu," Classical Philology, 111:1 (Jan 2016), pp 19-31.
- " 'What If We Had a War and Everybody Came?': Homeric Enargeia and the First Spectacular Duel." In War as Spectacle: Ancient and Modern Perspectives, edited by Anastasia Bakogianni and Valerie Hope. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015
- "Representations of Causation in the Iliad." In Efficient Causation, ed. by Tad Schmaltz, in the Oxford Philosophical Concepts Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014
Recent talks and conference papers:
- “Temporal ‘Distance'; and Intimacy: Evoking the Eternal in Iliadic Warfare," invited talk, University of Chicago, October 2017; presentation at University of Virginia, Conference on "Time and Eternity: The Conception of Time in Ancient Greek Literature," September 2017
- “The Proem's Promise," Boston College, MACTe conference, September 2016
- “With What Eyes?,” Columbia University, MACTe conference, April 2015
- “Simaitha's Daemones,” King's College London, Conference on “Locating the Daemonic: Daimones, Spaces and Places in the Greek World,” March 2015. Scroll down this page to see a video of Myers' lecture.
- "On Teaching the Iliad," for the Literature Humanities Lecture Series, Columbia University, September 2014
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