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Ani: A Medieval Cosmopolis

Christina Maranci

Dr. Maranci explores the history of "the city of a thousand and one churches."

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July 2019


Ani: A Medieval Cosmopolis

Known as "the city of a thousand and one churches," the now deserted town of Ani was once a thriving Armenian capital and cosmopolitan center of commerce and artistic exchange situated on the bustling medieval trade routes that connected the East and West. Dr. Christina Maranci reviews the history of Ani’s flourishing and decline through the Middle Ages, its significance to Armenian identity today and why it’s important to preserve and study this unique medieval city.


Dr. Christina Maranci is the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara T. Oztemel Chair of Armenian art and architectural history at Tufts University. Her books include Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions of Race and Nation (Peeters, 2001), Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015), and The Art of Armenia (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her articles have appeared in Revue des études arméniennes, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Gesta, the Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians, the Art Bulletin, the Oxford Companion to Architecture, and the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. She is also active in the preservation of Armenian cultural heritage, particularly in the Kars/Ani region.