b. 6 November 1766, S. Giorgio del Canavese, Piedmont
d. 10 August 1837, Paris
Educated at Ivrea, then studied medicine in Turin (his family had been doctors for five generations). After graduating, he stayed on at the university in Turin to teach there. In his spare time he began to take an interest in writing. He was suspected of being involved in revolutionary politics, and was arrested. After his release from prison in September 1795 he went to Switzerland. In June 1796 he became a doctor with the French Army of the Alps. From Gap he was later moved to Susa, Milan and Pavia. He also served in Corfu, and in 1798 published a book on the natural history of the island. When the French took over the government of Piedmont, that year, Botta became a member of the administration. He also continued to write, and published a history of the American War of Independence (1809). The fall of Napoleon forced Botta to retire from public life, and it was also then that he wrote his most important work, his "Storia d'Italia dal 1789 al 1814". The publication of this work in 1824 caused a certain sensation in Italy, as it dealt with affairs which were still recent and awoke powerful emotions, resulting in recriminations and accusations of partiality from both sides of the political divide. Financially, this proved to be useful to Botta, and the book went through fourteen editions in a few years. Towards the end of his life Botta found himself an accepted figure, honoured even by the King of Sardinia, whose forbear had had him imprisoned for anti-royalist activities. Source: Michaud. Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, 1843-?, vol. 5, pp. 149-53.
No biography in Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, 1899.