“Power book” was an attempt to systematically expound Russian history. It is divided into 17 facets or degrees and covers the time from the reign of Vladimir Svyatoslavich to Ivan IV (inclusive). In the “Power Book” the Moscow monarchy is glorified and the idea of the divine origin of autocratic power is affirmed. “Power book” connects the origin of the ruling family with the Roman emperor Augustus, the heirs of which were declared Kiev, and then Vladimir and Moscow princes.
The second set of ideas “Power book” is devoted to the alliance of secular and spiritual power. Descriptions of Russian princes and rulers are of a hagiographic nature (the glorification of their “holy exploits” and “true piety”). In each side is included the biography of the “holiest” of the Russian metropolitans. “Power book” was in the XVI-XVII centuries one of the most popular historical works. Its subjects
had a great impact on the monumental wall paintings of the 16th-17th centuries (the painting of 1564-1565 of the Moscow Archangel Cathedral, etc.).
Systematic study of the Power book began in the XIX century. In the XVIII century, Stepenny often attracted researchers, but the most interesting was the content, and not the features of the monument as a historical source. VN Tatishchev suggested that the Power Book was written in the late 14th-early 15th century. Metropolitan Macarius. This assumption was subsequently repeated by historians of the eighteenth century, but it remained without argumentation. At the end of the century, the text of the Power Book was published by GF Miller, who shared VN Tatishchev’s point of view on the authorship of Stepennaya. During this period, scientists often refer to the information contained in the Degree Book. Thus, MV Lomonosov uses it as one of the sources for his work “
For the first time an attempt to study the actual text of the Power Book is being made in the XIX century. Thus, in 1813, in the “Bulletin of Europe,” published by MT Kachenovsky,
KF Kalaidovich published an article on the authorship of the Steppen Book, where he first criticized the idea of compiling a Power book in the days of Cyprian. The researcher also believed that Metropolitan Makarii was not involved in the creation of Stepenna. With the help of Kalaydovich, the Moscow Main Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acquired from the poet A. A. Volkov a collection of manuscripts, among which was the List of the Steppen Book (now: RGADA, F. 181 (collected by MGAID) 185). The researcher gave a description of the manuscript: “The book of Steppen’s royal genealogy, which contains Russian history, is interrupted by the reign of Alexander Nevsky.” From the table of contents it can be seen that the whole book was brought to the death of Tsar Vasily Ivanovich.
Subsequently, A. V. Sirenov found that the Volkovsky list – a manuscript containing a draft of the Power Books. PM Stroev undertook in his Bibliographic Dictionary the first attempt to collect Stepenna’s lists. Listed 16 manuscripts. IP Sakharov also pointed out that he had a list of the Power Book “without life and words,” which he considered “the Cyprian Steppen.” Subsequently, P. G. Vasenko tried to find a list, which Sakharov mentioned, but his attempt was not successful. In 1845, the news of the discovery of another important list of the monument was published – the Chudov list. The find was not regarded as a sensation. IP Snegirev pointed to the presence in it of the note “The book of Chudova Monastery was collected by the humble Athanasius Metropolitan of All Russia.” In 1903 – the monograph of N. S. Derzhavin on the sources of the Power book. The researcher identified Stepennaya with a hypothetical arch of the 14th century. “The Vladimir polychrome.” This and some other conclusions seem incredible.