The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Botta, Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo
BOTTA. I. Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo, an Italian historian, born at San Giorgio del Canavese, Piedmont, Nov. 6, 1766, died in Paris, Aug. 10, 1837. He was educated as a physician at the university of Turin, and also studied literature, botany, and music. In 1792 he was imprisoned for an alleged political offence, and, though nothing could be proved against him, he was subjected to a rigorous confinement for 17 months. After his release he went to France, and was employed as surgeon in the army. Toward the close of 1796 he was sent to the Venetian islands of the Adriatic, where he wrote a “Historical and Medical Description of the Island of Corfu.” In 1798 he was appointed a member of the provisional government of Piedmont, which was soon overthrown by the Austro-Russian invasion. He returned to France, was restored to his rank in the army, after the battle of Marengo became a member of the council which, with six commissioners, was to reorganize and administer the government of Piedmont, and a few months later, when a new government was instituted, he was one of the three commissioners who formed the executive. After the annexation to France in 1802 he became a member of the council of general administration, and published his Précis historique de la maison de Savoie et du Piémont. In 1804 he was chosen to the legislative body, and for some years was a resident of Paris. The first edition of his Storia della guerra dell' independenza degli Stati Uniti d'America (4 vols. 8vo) appeared in Paris in 1809-'10, was immediately reprinted in Italy, without compensation for want of a copyright law, passed through several editions, and was translated into English by George Alexander Otis of Boston (2 vols., 1826; new eds., New Haven, 1834 and 1840, and Cooperstown, 1848). In 1808 he was chosen vice president of the legislative assembly, and reflected to the same office the following year. In 1816 he published an epic poem in 12 cantos, entitled Il Camillo, o Vejo conquistata. In 1817 he was made rector of the academy at Rouen, where he remained till 1822. There he wrote his second history, the Storia d'Italia del 1789 al 1814, but it was not till 1824 that he was able to publish it. This, too, was immediately republished in Italy. In 1825 he wrote in French a general history of Italy for a popular library (3 vols.). The assistance of friends enabled him to connect his history of Italy with the great work of Guicciardini. He thus completed in five years the 10 volumes of the history of Italy from 1532 to 1789 (Storia d'Italia continuata da quella del Guicciardini sino al 1789, Paris, 1832). This was the last of his works. In the latter part of his life he received from Charles Albert a pension at first of $600, and afterward of $800. II. Paul Émile, a French archæologist, son of the preceding, born about 1800, died at Achères, near Poissy, April 18, 1870. He made in his youth a voyage round the world, and formed on the W. coast of America a collection of natural curiosities. He accompanied as physician the expedition of Mehemet Ali to Sennaar, 1830-'33, and made a rich zoölogical collection. He was then appointed French consul at Alexandria, and in 1837 made another journey, the results of which he published in the Relation d'un voyage dans l' Yémen (Paris, 1844). In 1843, being consular agent at Mosul, he began the excavation of Assyrian antiquities from the mounds on the banks of the Tigris, and published in 1848 Écriture cunéiforme assyrienne. The French government commissioned several eminent men to assist him in the preparation of Monuments de Ninive, découverts et décrits par P. É. Botta, mesurés et dessinés par E. Flandin (5 vols., Paris, 1849-'50), which was translated into English (“Letters on Discoveries at Nineveh,” London, 1850 et seq.). Many of the discovered monuments were transported to Paris, and placed in the Louvre. Botta laid the foundation for the more important labors of Layard. In 1846 he became consul at Jerusalem, and in 1857 at Tripoli, where he remained till 1868.