(book of titles), a reference book containing a list of titles of Russian and foreign rulers and political leaders. Books of this type were compiled from the late 15th through early 19th centuries as an aid to diplomatic correspondence. Beginning in the mid-16th century, they were prepared by the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office), and from the 1720’s by the Collegium of Foreign Affairs.
The Tsar’s Book of Titles: The Great Book of Rulers, or the Roots of the Rulers of Russia was prepared in three copies in 1672. In addition to the usual listing of titles, it contained brief information on Russian history and portraits of Russian princes and tsars, eastern and Russian patriarchs, and foreign rulers, as well as illustrations of emblems and seals. The book was designed and illustrated by the best artists and illuminators of the Armory and Posol’skii Prikaz.