The work by T. consists of four parts, setting out the history of Russia by periods: part 1 – from ancient times to Rurik; part 2 – Chronicle from 860 till 1238; Part 3 – Chronicle from 1238 till 1462, part 4 – continuous chronicle from 1462 till 1558, and then a number of extracts about the Time of Troubles. The work was published in five books, the last one was issued much later, in 1848 on the base of the manuscript discovered by M.P. Pogodin in 1843. Among the sources, there were about 12 manuscripts, for example, the Konigsberg manuscript (Radziwill Chronicle), the Novgorod manuscript, known as the Academic copy of the Novgorod First Chronicle of the junior version. In 1962-1968, a reprint was carried out with some inserts from the first variant of the text.
In his work, T. turned not only to political, but also to religious history. In the second chapter of the first part, he separately dwells on ‘idolatry’; T. argued that idolatry of various peoples has its own specifics, the author classified it into deep, hidden, and light idolatry. To the second category he attributed ‘witches’ and sorcerers, to light idolaters – those who pretend to believe in Christianity, while professing polytheistic practices. He warned against communicating with people who are ignorant in religious matters.
T. described Slavic gods, relying not only on Nestor, but also on Herodotus, including his description of the Scythian beliefs.
On the issue of the Christianization of Russia, he criticized the Catholic Cardinal Caesar Baronius (1538-1607), who noted that Catholic missionaries were the first one who brought Christianity to Slavs. Referring to the Kormchaya, and the Kievan Pechercsky Patericon, T. mentioned five different attempts of baptism: 1) Apostle Andrew, who erected a cross on the Kievan mountains; 2) in 863 in Bulgaria by Cyril and Methodius; 3) in 886 through Metropolitan Michael; 4) by Princess Olga under Emperor Constantine; 5) by Prince Vladimir in 988.
T. showed the difference in social and religious practices in various beliefs. For example, that nepotism, as sanctified brotherhood, was used in the Byzantine tradition only; he also considered some connection between the practice of marriage and certain religious beliefs.