BLOCH, Ernst Theodor

BLOCH, Ernst Theodor. Christiansfeld, Schleswig (now Slesvig, Denmark) 8.5.1867 — Calcutta 20.10.1909. German Indologist. Born as the son of a dyer master, Bernhard Bl., in the Herrnhutian colony of Christiansfeld in the then German North Schleswig, went there to school. In 1880-82 at Unitätsanstalt and 1882-87 at Pädagogium of the Brudergemeinschaft in Niesky (bei Görlitz in Ober-Lausitz). Studies mainly at Leipzig (1889-90 in Berlin): classical philology, German, IE (Brugmann), and Indology (Windisch), later also Iranian (Lindner), Persian, Semitics and Turkish (Socin). Ph.D. 1893 Leipzig. Then two years in Vienna, where Bühler roused his interest in history and epigraphy. PD 1896 Leipzig. In 1900 came to India, where he was employed in the A.S.I., in the end as Superintendent of the Eastern Circle. In 1906-08 on sick-leave, mainly in Italy. Recovered he returned to India, but in June 1909 he again fell seriously ill and died after a few months. Sengupta (1996, 293) says he was nominated Reader of Ancient Indian History at Calcutta University (he was Fellow from 1906), but could not begin his teaching because of the early death. Beside Old and Middle Indian, he knew several NIA languages, classical Armenian and Arabic, modern Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and several European languages.

Publications: As there are no full accounts of his life and work, an exceptional degree of completeness has been attempted here.

diss. Vararuci und Hemacandra. Ein Beitrag zur Kritik und Geschichte der Prakrit-Grammatik. 48 p. Lp. 1893 (also in KZ 33, 1895, 321-366); habil.diss. Über das Gṛhya- und Dharmasūtra der Vaikhānasa. 46 p. Lp. 1896.

Verbal index to the 2nd edition of Bühler’s Āpastamba. Aphorisms of the sacred law of the Hindus. Bo. Skr. Ser. 60. Bombay 1894; review of Klemm’s Shaḍ-viṁṣa-Brāhmaṇa, WZKM 8, 1894, 247f.

– “An unpublished Valabhī Copper-plate Inscription of King Dhruvasena I”, JRAS 1895, 379-384 (A.D. 536/7); “The Peppé Inscription”, JRAS 1899, 425f.; “The Modern Name of Nālandā”, JRAS 1909, 440-443.

– “An ancient inscribed Buddhist statue from Çrāvastī”, JASB 68:1, 1898, 274-290; “A new inscription of Mahārāja Bhoja I, from Marwar, dated Harṣa Saṁvat 100”, ibid. 291-295; “An edition of a new copper-plate inscription of Jayādityadeva II”, JASB 69, 1900, 88-92; “A note on a new inscription of Alāuddin Husain Shāh”, JASB 5, 1909, 260f. (appended to an article of R. D. Bandyopādhyāya).

– “Buddha worshipped by Indra: a favorite subject of Ancient Indian Art”, ProcASB 1898, 186-189; “Note on the date of an ancient Palm-leaf MS. from Nepal”, ProcASB 1899, 69f.; “Three new inscriptions from Gaya (Abstract)”, ProcASB 1902, 66f.

– “Excavations at Basarh”, ASIAR 1903/04, 81-122; “Caves and inscriptions in Rāmgarh Hill”, ASIAR 1903/04, 123-131; some further articles in the ASIAR.

– “Basar-Vesali”, ZDMG 58, 1904, 206; “Ein griechisches Theater in Indien”, ibid. 455-457; “Excavation at Lauriya”, ZDMG 60, 1906, 227-232; “Über einige bildliche Darstellungen arischer Gottheiten”, ZDMG 62, 1908, 648-656; “Die Zeit Kālidāsas”, ibid. 671-676; “Eine Sammlung persischer und arabischer Hss. in Indien”, ZDMG 63, 1909, 98-102; “Zur Asoka Inschrift von Bairat”, ibid. 325-328; “Eine neugefundene Inschrift aus Zentral-Indien”, ibid. 587-590 (Besnagar); “Eine indische Version der iranischen Sage von Sām”, ZDMG 64, 1910, 733-738; “Die zoroastrischen Gottheiten auf den Münzen der Kuṣāṇa-Könige”, ibid. 739-744.

– “Two inscriptions on Buddhist images”, EI 8, 1905-06, 179-182, 2 pl.; “Sahêt Mahêt umbrella staff inscription”, EI 9, 1907-08, 290f., 1 pl.; “Amaunā plate of the Mahārāja Nandana”, EI 10, 1909-10, 49f.

– “Über einige altindische Götternamen”, Wörter und Sachen 1, 1909, 80-84 (Viṣṇu & Rudra-Śiva); “Altindisch ‘uḍupa’, ‘ṛṣi’, ‘gardabha’”, W & S 2, 1910, 1-8; “Zum Postwesen der alten Perser und Inder”, W & S 3, 1912, 135-137.

– “George Bühler”, ProcASB 1898, 174-177; “The Right Hon. Prof. F. Max Müller”, ProcASB 1901, 35-40.

Supplementary Catalogue of the Archaeological Collections in the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Calcutta 1911.

Sources: Lebenslauf in diss.; ASIAR 1909-10, 9; JASB 5, 1909 (1911), cxvii-cxxi; some works in Ges.Vz.

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