The new and revolutionizing ideas which the early Greek thinkers developed about the nature of the universe had a direct impact upon their conception of what they called, in a new sense, 'God' or 'the Divine.' The history of the philosophical theology of the Greeks is thus the history of their rational approach to the nature of reality itself in its successive phases. The late Professor Jaeger's classic book traces this development from the first intimations in Hesiod of the theology that was to come, through the heroic age of Greek cosmological thought, down to the time of the Sophists of the fifth century B.C.
Werner Jaeger was educated in Germany and held chairs in classical studies at the University of Basel, Kiel, Berlin, California, Chicago and Harvard. He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1936 and later revised and expanded them for publication in this book.