Journal of World History, vol. 20, no. 3 (2009)


Pliny’s Natural History and the Flavian Templum Pacis: Botanical Imperialism in First-Century C.E. Rome
Elizabeth Ann Pollard, 309

The gardens in the first-century C.E. Flavian Templum Pacis are best understood as formal colonial botanical gardens populated with exotic flora of the type catalogued by Pliny in his Natural History. These gardens, along with the spice market (Horrea Piperataria) located next to the Templum Pacis on the Sacred Way in the center of Rome, were monumental statements of imperial power over the world as the Romans knew it. Both the transplantation to and the sacred offering within the Templum Pacis of botanicals that Romans acquired through conquest in the east and long-distance trade with India were ways to assert ideological and economic power within the Indo-Mediterranean network of exchange.

The Planetary Portent of 1524 in China and Europe
David W. Pankenier, 339

In late February and early March of 1524 there occurred in Aquarius-Pisces an impressive massing of all five planets normally visible to the naked eye. This was the densest such gathering in centuries. In both China and the West such phenomena had long loomed large because of their astrological association with world-changing events on the grandest scale. Events in 1524 in China and Europe in response to the phenomenon
provide insight into the widely divergent Chinese and Western responses to such “millennial” events. The following discussion contrasts the astrological background and contemporary impact of this signal event in late Ming China and Reformation Europe.

Muslims and Social Change in the Atlantic Basin
Sean Foley, 377

Many people perceive America’s relationship with Islam and Muslims as a twentieth-century phenomenon. In reality, America’s relationship with Islam predates the creation of the United States and reflects America’s European, African, and Middle Eastern heritage. Islam was also a key component of Atlantic history in both the eastern and western hemispheres as a rival civilization and a vehicle for religious and political reform. This article will discuss the role of Islam at three crucial turning points in Atlantic history: the Protestant Reformation, the emergence of European nation-states, and the rise of notions of universal human rights.

“Notorious and Convicted Mutilators”: Rammohun Roy, Thomas Jefferson, and the Bible
Lynn Zastoupil, 399

This article links two famous individuals from different parts of the world who produced in the same year (1820) similar extracts of the four gospels. It argues that this was the result of globalizing processes that diffused unconventional views of the Bible to three continents and made international celebrities out of heterodox writers. The hitherto unconnected stories of Rammohun Roy and Thomas Jefferson are also used
to shed light on a long, bitter controversy in Britain about the doctrine of the Trinity, a controversy that followed the flow and counterflow of ideas and people between core and periphery fashioned by empire.


A. G. Hopkins, ed. Global History: Interactions between the Universal and the Local
reviewed by Markus Vink, 435

Jack Goody. The Theft of History
reviewed by Richard Reitan, 440

Norman Yoffee and Bradley L. Crowell, eds. Excavating Asian History: Interdisciplinary Studies
in Archaeology and History

reviewed by Li Feng, 442

Serhii Plokhy. The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
reviewed by Robert H. Greene, 451

Leor Halevi. Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society
reviewed by Christine D. Baker, 453

Mikael Adolphson, Edward Kamens, and Stacie Matsumoto, eds. Heian Japan: Centers and Peripheries
reviewed by Patti Kameya, 456

Alison Games. The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560–1660
reviewed by Michele M. Strong, 459

A. Dirk Moses, ed. Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History
reviewed by Robert Melson, 463

Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto, eds. Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, 1400–1800
reviewed by Timothy J. Coates, 466

Paul D. McLean. The Art of the Network: Strategic Interaction and Patronage in Renaissance Florence
reviewed by Edward Tabri, 469

Mathias Schulze, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, eds.
German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss
reviewed by Renate Bridenthal, 472

Geoffrey Blainey. A Short History of the 20th Century
reviewed by Grace J. Chae, 475

Vaclav Smil. Transforming the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences
reviewed by Suzanne Moon, 478

Sarah Badcock. Politics and the People in Revolutionary Russia: A Provincial History
reviewed by Joshua Sanborn, 481

Paul Addison and Harriet Jones, eds. A Companion to Contemporary Britain: 1939–2000
reviewed by David Simonelli, 484

Michael Makovsky. Churchill’s Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft
reviewed by Sonja P. Wentling, 486