He was born at Revello, Piedmont, in 1731, and was educated at Saluzzo and Turin. In 1753 he was appointed to the chair of humanity at Pignerol, but he was soon compelled by the influence of the Jesuits to retire from it. In 1756 he graduated as doctor in theology, and began authorship with a theological treatise.
Promoted to the professorship of humanity and rhetoric in the college of Turin, he published (1769–1770) his Delle revoluzioni d'Italia, the work on which his reputation is mainly founded. Collegiate honors accompanied the issue of its successive volumes, which, however, at the same time multiplied his foes and stimulated their hatred.
In 1782, at Frederick the Great's invitation, he went to Berlin, where he remained for many years, in the course of which he published his Vie et régne de Frédéric II (Berlin, 1788) and La Prusse littéraire sous Frédéric II (3 vols., Berlin, 1790–1791). His Delle revoluzioni della Germania was published at Florence in 1804, in which year he went to Paris as the imperial librarian, on the invitation of Napoleon. At Paris he published in 1805 his Tableau de la Haute Italie, et des Alpes qui lentourent. He died there in 1813.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Denina, Carlo Giovanni Maria". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.