The Euryclid dunasteia lasted intermittently for almost a century, a period during which the evidence for internal conditions at Sparta is slight. The rising mood of local archaism is better linked with the larger cultural and political conditions of the Greek world under the Flavians and Trajan, a time which saw the early stirrings of the great renaissance of cultural activity in the Greek provinces under the principate, for which the peace and prosperity of the Roman Empire provided the necessary preconditions. Hadrianic initiatives greatly enhanced Sparta’s international standing, as is shown by the Antonine city’s wide-ranging contacts with the overseas Greek world. Sparta was linked to some of these overseas cities by claims of ethnic kinship. During the peaceful reign of Antoninus Pius, post-Hadrianic Sparta’s overseas diplomacy was at its busiest. With the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235 the Roman Empire moved into a period of rapidly increasing instability termed by some historians the ‘third-century crisis’.