(gosudarevy razriady), in the 16th and 17th centuries, books containing lists of yearly appointments by the Russian government to military, civil service, and court posts, as well as excerpts from various official documents. They were compiled by secretaries in the grand prince’s chancellery and later by the Razriadnyi Prikaz.
The gosudarevy razriady compiled in 1566, 1584, 1585, 1598, and 1604–05 each covered the previous few years or decades. From 1613 they were compiled annually. A new type of official razriadnye knigi appeared after 1613 containing chiefly descriptions of military service along Russia’s southern borders. Of these, only the volumes dealing with the period from 1613 to 1636 have survived. An abridged edition of the razriadnye knigi, covering the period from 1550 to 1636, was produced in 1636. Such books ceased to be compiled in the early 18th century, when the Razriadnyi Prikaz was dissolved.
With the abolition of the mestnichestvo system of state appointments in 1682, the razriadnye knigi kept in the various government departments were destroyed because they had often been used by members of the service nobility to prove the noble origin and high official status of their ancestors. The razriadnye knigi constitute an extremely important source for the history of the central administration, the army, military affairs, and foreign policy of Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries.
REFERENCEBuganov, V. I. Razriadnye knigi poslednei chelverli X V-nachala X VII vv. Moscow, 1962.
V. I. BUGANOV