New Book: ‘Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia’

Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia by historian Christina Maranci ushers the reader into the world of early medieval Armenia—its sacred landscapes, striking churches, and rich literary and religious traditions.

Cover of ‘Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia’
Cover of ‘Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia’

An examination of three sculpted and inscribed monuments, produced during the “global” wars of the 7th century, demonstrates the close engagement of Armenia with Byzantine imperial interests and with contemporary events in the Holy Land. The dramatic context of the military frontier, and the apocalyptic expectations of its contemporaries, shaped a vibrant visual culture with ties to both the Byzantine and Sasanian worlds.

The 7th-century monuments of Armenia are important not just as an extraordinary moment of local cultural production, but because they fill a crucial gap in our knowledge about the medieval traditions of the Christian East, from which little survives. Vigilant Powers is the first English-language book devoted to the subject.

Maranci is a researcher, writer, historian, and professor at Tufts University. Her expertise is in Armenian architecture. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, focusing on “Medieval Armenian Architecture in Historiography: Josef Strzygowski and his Legacy.” Maranci is also the author of A Survival Guide for Art History Students (2004), and Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions of Race and Nation (2001).

To order Vigilant Powers, visit

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1 Comment

  1. Josef Strzygowski revealed that European architecture has its roots in Armenia. Of course this has caused much concern and hysteria to the anti-Armenia international crowd of pseudo-scholars. They now like to conveniently ignore Strzygowski and/or desperately try to discredit his work because “he joined the Nazi party” (As if that means anything or is anything unusual for a German from the period).

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