(War Office), in Russia, a central government department in the 16th and 17th centuries that had jurisdiction over military servitors, the army, and the southern border towns.
The department was formed in the mid-16th century. In the second half of the 16th century, when such other departments as the Streletskii Prikaz, the Pushkarskii Prikaz, the Inozemskii Prikaz, the Sibirskii Prikaz, and the Prikaz Kazanskogo Dvortsa were established, both the territorial scope and functions of the Razriadnyi Prikaz were limited. The department’s functions increased considerably in times of war; it was through this department that the government directed military operations. The department also assigned the military servitors to regiments, appointed the voevodas (military governors) of towns, as well as their assistants, from among the boyars and the court nobility, and administered military border service at the abatis lines, in the cossack settlements, and in border patrol units. The department also distributed land and money to the servitors in compensation for services. In the 17th century the government charged the department with registering all persons liable for military service.
The Razriadnyi Prikaz kept a record of all court ceremonies, such as receptions of foreign envoys, the weddings of members of the family of the grand prince or the tsar, and ennoblements. It was also directly involved in settling disputes over precedence in the feudal hierarchy (mestnichestvo).
The staff of the Razriadnyi Prikaz included a large number of secretaries and their assistants. The department was subdivided into a number of “desks,” or sections: Moscow, Novgorod, Vladimir, Belgorod, Sevsk, Pomest’e, Denezhnyi, and Prikaznoi. In the 16th and 17th centuries the Razriadnyi Prikaz was usually headed by members of the bureaucracy loyal to the tsar. At various times it was headed by A. Ia. Shchelkalov, V. Ia. Shchelka-lov, F. Likhachev, S. Zaborovskii, D. Bashmakov, and F. Griboedov. The last head was the boyar T. N. Streshnev, appointed in 1689. The department was abolished in 1711.
REFERENCESLikhachev, N. P. Razriadnye d’iaki XVI v. St. Petersburg, 1888.
Bogoiavlenskii, S. K. Prikaznye sud’i XVII v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Zimin, A. A. “O slozhenii prikaznoi sistemy na Rusi.” Doklady i soobshcheniia In-ta istorii AN SSSR, 1954, fasc. 3.
Leont’ev, A. K. Obrazovanie prikaznoi sistemy upravleniia ν Russkom gosudarstve. Moscow, 1961.
V. I. BUGANOV