He was born in Leipzig as the son of Johann Adam Bergk. After studying at the University of Leipzig, where he profited by the instruction of G. Hermann, he was appointed in 1835 to the lectureship in Latin at the orphan school at Halle. After holding posts at Neustrelitz, Berlin and Cassel, he succeeded (1842) KF Hermann as professor of classical literature at Marburg. In 1852 he went to Freiburg, and in 1857 returned to Halle.
Bergk's literary activity was very great, but his reputation mainly rests upon his work in connection with Greek literature and the Greek lyric poets. His Poetae Lyrici Graeci (1843), and Griechische Litteraturgeschichte (1872–1887) (completed by G. Hinrichs and R. Peppmüller with the aid of Bergk's posthumous papers) are standard works.
He also edited Anacreon (1834), the fragments of Aristophanes (1840), Aristophanes (3rd ed., 1872), Sophocles (2nd ed., 1868), a lyric anthology (4th ed., 1890). Among his other works may be mentioned: Augusti Rerum a se gestarum Index (1873); Inschriften römischer Schleudergeschosse (1876); Zur Geschichte und Topographie der Rheinlande in römischer Zeit (1882); Beiträge zur römischen Chronologie (1884).
His Kleine philologische Schriften have been edited by Peppmüller (1884–1886), and contain, in addition to a complete list of his writings, a sketch of his life.
- Aristophanis fragmenta. Edidit Th. Bergk, Berolini typis et impensis G. Reimeri, 1840.
- Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Edidit Theodorus Bergk, Lipsiae, Sumtu Reichenbachiorum fratrum, 1843.
- Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Recensuit Theodorus Bergk. Editio altera auctior et emendatior. Lipsiae, apud Rechenbachios, 1853.
- Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Tertiis curis recensuit Theodorus Bergk. Pars 1, pars 2, pars 3. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1865-67.
- Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Recensuit Theodorus Bergk. Editionis quartae. Vol. 2, vol. 3. Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1878-82.
- Griechische Literaturgeschichte von Theodor Bergk. Vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4. Berlin, Weimannsche Buchhanndlung, 1872-87.
- Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Bergk, Theodor". Encyclopedia Americana.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bergk, Theodor". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.