Tobias is the author of Homer's Divine Audience: The Iliad's Reception on Mount Olymus (2019, Oxford University Press), which offers a new ‘metaperformative’ approach to scenes of divine viewing, counsel and intervention in the Iliad. Tobias has also written literary essays for the Oxford History of Philosophical Concepts series, and articles on varied topics such as the coherence of Theocritus' pastoral poetic universe, the daimonic cosmology of the witch Simaitha in Theocritus’ second Idyll, and the manipulation of temporal and spatial distance in Iliadic battle narratives.
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. In 2019 Tobias was awarded Connecticut College's John S. King Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. 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.
During the 2021-22 academic year, Tobias will be on leave. During that time, he will be teaching and working as Associate Director of the American College of Greece’s new Institute for Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts.
- “Evoking the Eternal: Perspective and Paradox in Iliadic Warfare,” in Time, Tense and Genre in Archaic Greek Literature, edited by Connie Bloomfield and Edith Hall, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
- Homer’s Divine Audience: The Iliad’s Reception on Mount Olympus, Oxford University Press, 2019.
- “Does Homer’s Odysseus Know Himself?” in Self-Knowledge: A History, edited by Ursula Renz, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp 19-24.
- "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, pp 25-42.
Recent talks and conference papers:
- “Imperfective Moments: The Celestial Perspective in Iliadic Battle Scenes," King's College London, Conference on "Time, Tense and Genre in Ancient Greek Literature," September 2019
- “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
Reviews of Homer’s Divine Audience:
“Homer’s Divine Audience makes an important contribution to the study of the Iliad’s engagement with its audience. On the whole, I found Myers’ approach to be sound, his readings perceptive, his discernment of the Iliad’s deployment of various paradigms of spectacle illuminating and his analysis of the gods’ role as mediators of the Iliad’s story convincing.” - Bill Beck, Indiana University, The Classical Journal Online
"This is a thoughtful and persuasive account of divine spectatorship in the Iliad and, particularly, of the role of Zeus as the poet's 'collaborator'. M. builds on a wide range of existing scholarship — on the role of the divine audience, on performance and involvement, and on the capacity of epic to transcend time — to develop his argument." - Elizabeth Minchin, The Australian National University, The Classical Review
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