Dottore in Lettere, U. Rome, 1935; diploma di Perfezionamento, 1937; LL.D., U. Cassino, Italy, 1989.
Instr. Greek & Latin, Harvard, 1941; asst. prof., 1942-47; assoc. prof. 1947-53; prof. 1953-73; Pope Prof. Latin Lang. & Lit., 1973-82; with excavation at Ostia, Italy, 1938-39; Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1953-54; prof.-in-charge, School of Classical Studies, AAR, 1957-59; member, board of Syndics, Harvard University Press, 1961-65; trustee, Loeb Classical Library, 1964-73; Senior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard, 1964-79; Fulbright Award, Italy, 1950-51; Guggenheim, Fellow, 1950-51; fellow, NEH, 1976-77; Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Fellow, Medieval Academy (President of Fellows, 1990-93); director, APA, 1959-64; 1966-70; vice president, 1966-68; president, 1968-69; member, American Philosophical Society.
“Echelo e Basile. Note sull'interpretazione dei rilievi di Falero, Rodi e Chio,” RFIC (1935) 317-331; “I bolli laterizi e la storia edilizia di Roma. Contributi all' archeologia e alla storia romana (Premier article),” BCAR (1936) 141-225; “I bolli laterizi e la storia edilizia romana. Contributi all'archeologia e alla storia romana, II & III BCAR 65 (1937) 83-187; “I bolli laterizi e la storia edilizia romana. Contributi all'archeologia e alla storia romana,” BCAR (1939); “Inedita Ostiensia, I,” Epigraphica 1 (1939) 36-40; I bolli laterizi e la storia edilizia romana. Contributi all'archeologia e alla storia romana (Rome, 1939) REVS: CP 1942 328-334 Boëthius | AJP 1943 219-220 Broughton; “Herakleides Lembos and his Epitome of Aristotle's Politeiai, TAPA 71 (1940) 27-39; “L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus in Samothrace and Herculaneum,” AJA (1940) 485-493; “Studies in Historical Literature of the 4th Century B. C.,” in Athenian Studies Presented to W. S. FergusonHSCP Supplementary Vol. 1 (Cambridge, 1940) 303-76; “A Manuscript of Tacitus' Agricola in Monte Cassino about A.D. 1135,” CP (1941) 185-87; “A Dream of Septimius Severus,” CW 37 (1943-44) 31-32; “Consules Suffecti on Roman Brick Stamps,” CP (1944) 254-55; “Aqua Traiana,” AJA (1944) 337-341; “A New Document of the Last Pagan Revival in the West 393-394 A. D.,” HTR (1945) 199-244; Dumbarton Oaks papers, III, ed. E. Kitzinger, M.V. Anastos, & Bloch (Cambridge, MA, 1946) REVS: Traditio V 1947 359-373 Searls, Strittmatter & Inguanez | CR 1948 43 Burn | CPh 1948 269-270 Keck; “The Roman Brick-Stamps not Published in Volume XV, 1 of the Corpus Inscriptionum LatinarumHSCP 56-57 (1947) 1-128; “The Hersfeld Manuscript of Frontinus' De aquaeductu Urbis RomaeAJP (1948) 74-79; “Indices to Roman Brick-Stamps,” HSCP 58-59 (1948) 1-104; “Supplement to Vol. XVI of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Including Complete Indices to the Roman Brick-Stamps, HSCP 56-59 (1949); Scavi di Ostia, I: Topografia generale, ed. G. Calza, G. Becatti, G. de Angelis d'Ossat, I. Gismondi & Bloch (Rome, 1953) REVS: Gnomon XXVI 1953 551-553 Schaal | RA XLIX 1957 60-76 Le Gall; “Ostia. Iscrizioni rinvenute tra il 1930 e il 1939,”NSA7, ser. 8a (1953) 239-306; “The Name of the Baths near the Forum of Ostia,” in Studies Presented to D. M. Robinson on his Seventieth Birthday, II ed. G.E. Mylonas & D. Raymond (St. Louis, 1953) 412-18; “The Exegetes of Athens and the Prytaneion Decree,” AJP 74 (1953) 407-18; P. Williams Lehmann, Roman Wall Paintings from Boscoreale in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, appendix by Bloch (Cambridge, MA, 1953); Abhandlungen zur griechischen Geschichtsschreibung von Felix Jacoby, zu seinem 80. Geburtstag (ed.) (Leiden, 1956) REVS: RFIC XXXV 1957 325-326 Rostagni | Mnemosyne XI 1958 268-270 Thiel | AC XXVII 1958 298-300 Gorteman | REA LX 1958 169 Lévêque | DLZ LXXIX 1958 619-620 Instinsky | JHS LXXX 1960 220 Cawkwell; “The Exegetes of Athens. A Reply,” HSCP 62 (1957) 37-49; Scavi di Ostia, III, 1 : Le necropoli : Le tombe di età repubblicana e augustea ed. M. Floriani Squarciapino, I. Gismondi, G. Barbieri, R. Calza, & Bloch (Rome, 1958) REVS: JRS XLIX 1959 180-181 Meiggs | ArchClass XI 1959 145-146 Lugli | AJA LXIV 1960 207-210 Richardson | Gnomon XXXII 1960 580-582 Perkins | RA 1960 I 203-210 Le Gall; “Sette Bassi Revisited,” HSCP 63 (1958) 401-414; “Un nuovo caposaldo nella storia dell'architettura romana : il Serapeo di Ostia e i bolli laterizi dell'anno 123,” Atti del terzo Congresso internazionale di Epigrafia greca e latina (Roma 4-8 Settembre 1957) (Rome, 1959) 173-74; “The Serapeum of Ostia and the Brick-Stamps of 123 A.D.,” AJA 63 (1959) 225-40; “Ein datierter Ziegelstempel Theoderichs des Grossen,” MDAI(R) 66 (1959) 196-203; “The Structure of Sallust's Historiae. The Evidence of the Fleury Manuscript,” in Didascaliae. Studies in Honor of A. M. Albareda ed. S. Prete (New York, 1961) 59-76; “A New Edition of the Marble Plan of Ancient Rome,” JRS 51 (1961) 143-152; “A Monument of the Lares Augusti in the Forum of Ostia,” HTR 55 (1962) 211-23; “The Pagan Revival in the West at the End of the Fourth Century,” The Conflict between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century, ed. A. Momigliano et al. (Oxford, 1963) 193-218; W. Jaeger, Five Essays, trans. by A.M. Fiske, with a bibliography by Bloch (Montreal, 1966) REVS: CF XXII 1968 271-272 | AC XXXVIII 1969 625 Piérart Cannon | CR XXI 1971 309 Morrison; Cristianesimo primitivo e paideia greca (ed.), trans. S. Buscherini (Florence, 1966) REVS: Cultura VI 1968 437-443 Andolfi | RIFD XLV 1968 448-450 | Aevum XLII 1968 377 Criniti; “Problems in Editing Fragments of Greek Historians,” Die Interpretation in der Altertumswissenschaft. Ansprachen zur Eröffnung des 5. Kongresses der Fédération Internationale des Associations d'Études Classiques Bonn, 1.-6. September 1969, ed. W. von Schmid (Bonn, 1971) 112-13; Index of the Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, volumes 1-100 1870-1969, compiled by J.W. Spaeth, with a supplement by Bloch (Cleveland, 1971) “Problems in Editing Fragments of Greek Historians,” Die Interpretation in der Altertumswissenschaft. Ansprachen zur Eröffnung des 5. Kongresses der Fédération Internationale des Associations d'Études Classiques Bonn, 1.-6. September 1969, ed. W. von Schmid (Bonn, 1971) 112-13; “Das Wiener Fragment der Historiae des Sallust (P. Vindob. L 117),” with B. Bischoff, WS 13 N.F. (1979) 116-129; The Codex Benedictus (Vat. Lat. 1202). An Eleventh-Century Lectionary from Monte Cassino, ed. P. Meyvaert, preface by Bloch (New York, 1982) REV: WS N.F. XX 1986 305-307 Zelzer; “The Funerary Inscription of the Physician of Caecilia Crassi in the Fogg Art Museum,” HSCP 86 (1982) 141-150; "Der Autor der Graphia aureae urbis Romae," Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 40 (1984), 55–175; Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages, 3 vols. (Cambridge, MA, 1986); “Gerhart Rodenwaldt (1886-1945),”Eikasmos 4 (1993) 305-9; “In ricordo di Russell Meiggs,” in “Roman Ostia” Revisited: Archaeological and Historical Papers in Memory of Russell Meiggs ed. Anna Gallina Zevi and Amanda Claridge (London, 1996) 3-4; The Atina Dossier of Peter the Deacon of Monte Cassino: A Hagiographical Romance of the Twelfth Century, Studi e Testi (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) 346 (Vatican City, 1998).
Between 1930 and 1933, Herbert Bloch completed seven semesters at the University of Berlin. Among his teachers were Werner Jaeger, later to be his colleague at Harvard, and the art-historian Gerhardt Rodenwaldt (1886-1945), to whose humanity and brilliant teaching he was later to pay high tribute. Another of his admired teachers was the medievalist Erich Caspar (1879-1935), who seems to have inspired Bloch with an abiding interest in medieval literature and archaeology, and especially in the forgeries of Peter the Deacon, the rogue librarian of Monte Cassino. In 1933, foreseeing the consequences of the National Socialists’ rise to power, Bloch moved to Rome, where he enrolled in La Sapienza, and, having quickly acquired fluent Italian, received his doctorate in 1935 on the religious policy of Commodus, under the direction of Arnaldo Momigliano. His tesi di perfezionamento, published in three long articles between 1936 and 1938 and later as a book, was a path-breaking study of the brick stamps of ancient Rome. This also involved exploring the brick-stamps of Ostia, and led to his appointment as one of the excavation team directed by Guido Calza (1888-1946). Though his participation was cut short by his departure for the US, he continued to be involved in publishing the results after World War II. In January, 1939, rising anti-Semitism in Italy led Bloch to emigrate to the US, where he was to remain stateless until after the war. He was accepted into the first class of Fellows of the newly founded Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks for the year 1940-41, but John H. Finley, Jr., acting Chair of the Department of the Classics at Harvard, asked Bloch to stand in for a senior colleague who had fallen ill, and he delayed his Fellowship until 1941-42. After his return from Washington he continued to teach at Harvard until his retirement in 1982. While at Harvard he taught mainly Latin literature and epigraphy, and directed dissertations in Greek and Latin prose literature (Ctesias, Nepos, Plutarch) as well as in Italian archaeology and medieval studies. In later years his interests turned more and more to the Middle Ages, and his magnum opus, Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages, was published in 1986. His last major work, published as late as 1998, was an edition in over three hundred pages of the “Atina dossier,” a group of works that Peter the Deacon wrote to glorify the city of Atina. In some ways Bloch’s medieval interests led him away from what might have been major contributions to classical studies. His interest in Greek historiography made him the natural successor to Felix Jacoby (1876-1959) as editor of the Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker, but he passed the project on to others. Similarly, his brilliant work on the lost Histories of the Roman historian Sallust might have led him to replace the antiquated (1891-93) edition of Bertold Maurenbrecher (1868-1943), but this project too was abandoned. Despite his strongly left-leaning politics, Bloch had a slight otherworldliness (on one occasion, not realizing that clocks had been moved forward for summertime, he arrived at one of his seminars an hour late). This quality, however endearing, did not make him suitable for administration, and he never served as departmental chair at Harvard, despite his decades as a member. His tenure as Executive Trustee of the Loeb Classical Library was not a success. An essay on the Library’s history (G. H. R. Horsley, Buried History 47 (2011) 35-58) says that “by 1973 [the year of Bloch’s retirement from the position] the series was in dire straits, at risk of being closed by HUP.” In manner, Bloch retained an old-fashioned courtesy and a restraint indefinably bordering on sadness, perhaps caused by his early memories of deprivation in World War I Berlin, his forced departure from his native Germany and from Italy, and the loss of his parents in wartime Berlin and of his younger brother at Auschwitz. Because of his wide interests, he never pretended to “own” a subject, and as a supervisor he always allowed his students to pursue their own paths, guiding them with gentle and unfailing interest. Bloch belongs to that great group of European émigrés through whom the turbulence of twentieth-century Europe gave a new impulse to English-speaking scholarship.
Jan P. Ziolkowski, APA Newsletter (October 2006) 22-4; WhAm 59 (2005) 422.
AUTHORChristopher P. Jones