This study book presents the history of Sparta from its beginnings to its incorporation into the Roman Empire. It shows how the political and social conditions changed over time, so that traditional ideas of the rigid "cosmos" are overcome. The treatment of the post-classical epochs provides important insights into the formation of the myth of Sparta, which served a wide variety of political purposes from antiquity to the 20th century.
Using Sparta as an example, it is clarified how a Greek polis secured its existence between the Hellenistic empires and what effects the merger with the Roman Empire had on political and cultural life. The indication of the most important sources and the detailed, updated literature references make this study book an important working basis.