Incorporating the latest research, The Victor's Crown offers an analysis of how competitive sport emerged in Greece during the eighth century BC, and then how the great festival cycle of Classical Greece came into being during the sixth century BC. Special attention is paid to violent sports of boxing, wrestling and pancration. We meet the great athletes of the past and discover what it was that made them so great.It shows how the rise of the Roman Empire transformed the sporting world by popularizing new forms of entertainment (chiefly chariot racing, gladiatorial combat and beast hunts). David Potter vividly brings to life the experiences of being fan and competitor, and extrapolates skilfully to the modern day, creating not just a history of ancient sport, but also an examination of the social and cultural roles sport has played throughout history.
September 1941: Bernie Gunther returns from the horrors of the Eastern Front to find his home city of Berlin changed, and changed for the worse. The blackout, rationing, the RAF, the S-Bahn murderer and Czech terrorists are all conspiring to make life very unpleasant. Now back at his old desk on Homicide in Kripo HQ, Alexanderplatz, Bernie starts to investigate the death of a Dutch railway worker, while starting something - of an entirely different nature - with a local good-time girl. But he is obliged to drop everything when his old boss, Reinhard Heydrich of the SD, the new Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, orders him to Prague to spend a weekend at his country house. It's an invitation Bernie feels he would gladly have been spared, especially when he meets his fellow guests - all of them senior loathsome figures in the SS and SD.The weekend turns sour almost immediately when a body is found, in a room that was locked from the inside. Now the spotlight falls on Bernie to show off his investigative skills and solve this seemingly impossible mystery. If he fails to do so, he knows what is at stake - not only his reputation, but also that of Reinhard Heydrich, a man who does not like to lose face.
'A man doesn't work for his enemies unless he has little choice in the matter.' So says Bernie Gunther, when he finds himself working for French Intelligence - it was either that or hang for murder. His job is to meet and greet POWs returning to Germany, and to find a French war criminal and member of the French SS who has been posing as a German Wehrmacht officer. The French are anxious to catch up with this man and deal with him in their own ruthless way. But Bernie's past is about to catch up with him - in a way he could never have foreseen.