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Cleph (also Clebus, Clef, Clepho, Kleph ; † 574 ) was king of the Lombards from 572/573 to 574 after Alboin's death .


Cleph came from the line of Beleos and was married to Masane. He had the son Authari .

After Alboin (probably at the instigation of his wife Rosamunde ) was murdered in 572/573, the conspirators planned to make Helmichis, who was probably involved in the murder plan, the new king. This was rejected by the Lombard nobility, however, and fled with Rosamunda, whom he married, to the Eastern Roman governor in Ravenna , where he instigated Rosamunde to poison Helmichis. When the latter consumed the poisoned drink and was dying, he forced Rosamunde to drink it too, so that both of them died together.

Meanwhile, the Lombard dukes in 573 (including Zaban of Pavia , Wallari of Bergamo , Alahis of Brescia , Ewin of Trient and Gisulf I of Cividale ) elevated the extremely noble dux (Duke) Cleph in Ticinum (Pavia) to their rex (King). Against the resistance of the dukes, who were very concerned about independence, Cleph tried to establish a strong kingdom. The local Roman upper class was largely expropriated, partly driven out and killed, the Saxon contingent that had taken part in the conquest of Italy was sent home and the Lombard people's law made binding.

After a year and a half or two years of reign, he was murdered by one of his slaves in 574. In view of their experience with Cleph, the dukes decided not to elect a new king, so that there was a ten-year interregnum before his son Authari was elected under the pressure of the Byzantine counter-attacks .

See also



Web links

Wikisource: Historia Langobardorum  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Wikisource: Origo Gentis Langobardorum  - Sources and full texts (Latin)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Origo Gentis Langobardorum chap. 6th
  2. a b c Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum II, 31
  3. a b c d Marii Episcopi Aventicensis Chronica, in Mommsen, Theodor: Chronica Minora saec. IV.V.VI.VII (II), Vol .: 2, p. 238
  4. ^ Fredegar, IV, 45
predecessor Office successor
Alboin King of the Lombards