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Malatesta coat of arms

The Malatesta were an Italian noble family in Romagna , first mentioned in the 11th century. The family ruled Rimini , Pesaro , Cesena and several other cities in the 14th and 15th centuries .


The Malatesta appear for the first time sporadically in documents from the 11th century in the area around Gabicce Mare (whose castle has not been preserved), Gatteo (with the preserved Malatesta castle from 1335) and Poggio Berni (with the preserved Marcosanti castle , whose core is on the Malatesta goes back). Ancestor to by a Rodolfo from the House of Lords Carpegna have been, the courage to fight him the nickname Malatesta ( recharger head , loosely translated: stubborn ) have introduced and from 1004, the Castello di Penna , on the rock of the castle Pennabilli have built should.

A Giovanni Malatesta († 1150) is mentioned for the first time in Rimini , he owned land between the rivers Marecchia and Rubicon . His son married into the Traversari family , who ruled Ravenna and Rimini in the 12th and 13th centuries and descended from a duke Paolo († 947); Tradition traces the Traversari back to a Teodoro , who was appointed prefect of Ravenna by Theodoric . The Castello Due Torri in Torriana came to the Malatesta in 1186. In the next generation but one Giovanni founded the line of the Counts of Sogliano (until 1640) and his brother Malatesta I. Malatesta (1183–1248) founded the Malatesta "della Penna" in Pennabilli and Verucchio (until 1462). In 1216 the two brothers became citizens of Rimini and placed their property under the jurisdiction of the city. In 1228 Malatesta I became Podestà of Pistoia and supported the Hohenstaufen emperor Friedrich II in the battles between loyal to the emperor and loyal to the papacy ( Ghibellines against Guelphs ) , to whom he swore allegiance in 1230; like this he was from Pope Gregory IX. excommunicated. In 1239 and again in 1247 he became Podestà of Rimini, where there were also violent feuds between the parties. He took up residence in the Palazzo dell'Arengo , built in 1204 for the Podestàs , to which the Malatesta added an extension in 1334, which is known as the Palazzo del Podestà .

Palazzo dell'Arengo in Rimini

The son of Malatesta I, Malatesta da Verucchio (1212-1312), switched to the Guelphs in 1248 after the defeat of the emperor at Parma and thus became the opponent of the Ghibelline leader in Romagna, Guido I da Montefeltro . After the annihilation of the Hohenstaufen by Charles of Anjou , this ensured that Guidos I was appointed papal vicar of the city of Florence . The Malatesta fought bitter skirmishes with rival noble families and were expelled from Rimini in 1288, but were able to return to the city in heavy street fighting as early as 1295 and expelled their opponents. In the same year Guido I declared himself lord of the city of Rimini and thus founded a signoria that ruled his family for over 200 years (until 1504). Officially they were "vicars" and feudal slave of the Papal States .

They acquired numerous other dominions in Romagna . From 1285 they were also Signori in Pesaro , where they were followed by the Sforza in 1445 (and the Della Rovere in 1513 ). The ducal palace of Pesaro (now the seat of the prefecture), built by the Sforza around 1450, is located on the site of their former castle.

Guido's son Gianciotto († 1304) became Podestà in Pesaro during his exile in 1288 . The story of his wife Francesca da Rimini became known , who was caught by her husband in adultery with his youngest brother Paolo around 1283, whereupon Gianciotto pierced both of them with his sword at the same time. Dante Alighieri described this in his Divine Comedy (5th Canto of the Inferno) and Giovanni Boccaccio also dedicated a story to it.

The other brother Malatestino I was elected Capitano of the Guelphs of Bologna in 1296 , and in 1303 Capitano del popolo in Florence ; he conquered and destroyed the castle of his Ghibelline cousin Guglielmo Malatesta in Sogliano in 1312 and succeeded his father in 1312 as lord of Rimini. Paolo's son Uberto (approx. 1270-1324) inherited the county of Ghiaggiolo from his mother and founded the line there (until 1757). The Malatesta also produced some bishops.

Rocca Malatestiana in Cesena

At the beginning of the 14th century, the Malatesta received the city of Fossombrone as a fief from the Papal States; they built a castle there, the ruins of which are still standing. Pope Urban VI. gave Cesena as vicariate to Galeotto I Malatesta in 1379 , and the nearby Roncofreddo with Sorrivoli Castle came into his possession. In the following period, from 1379 to 1465, the city flourished under the rule of the Malatesta, who rebuilt the castle over the city (called Rocca Malatestiana ). The Biblioteca Malatestiana , built by order of Domenico Malatesta, known as Malatesta Novello , from 1447 to 1452 near the castle with a number of valuable manuscripts is a well-preserved example of a Renaissance library with 300,000 books and manuscripts. When Malatesta Novello died in 1465, Cesena fell back to the Papal States.

Parisina Malatesta , the daughter of Andrea Malatesta (1373-1416), lord of the cities of Cesena and Fossombrone, was born in 1418 at the age of almost fourteen with the Margrave Niccolò III. d'Este married and brought him as marriage property a. a. Fossombrone too. Her much older husband had at least 21 illegitimate children. When a relationship between his favorite son Ugo and Parisiana eased and Niccolò caught them doing it, he had them both executed. The story has found its way into literature many times and provided material for operas.

Also Fano was from the end of the 13th century belonged to the Malatesta, who built there around 1438 a castle; In 1463 the Montefeltro conquered the city. In Ascoli Galeotto I. Malatesta had the Forte Malatesta built in 1349 . For a short time, Sansepolcro (1371-1430) and Citerna were under the rule of the Malatesta and Pandolfo III. Malatesta (1370-1427) officiated from 1404 to 1421 as city lord of Brescia and Bergamo .

Senigallia was owned by the Malatesta in the first half of the 15th century, Sigismondo Malatesta , lord of Rimini, Fano and Cesena since 1432, and surrounded it with new city walls and bastions that were so expensive that Pope Pius II gave him the City took away again. From 1450 he also had the current cathedral of Rimini, the Tempio Malatestiano , built. However, he got caught up in a grueling war against his rival Federico da Montefeltro . Finally, excommunicated by the Pope, he lost almost all of his possessions and was only able to hold Rimini with the help of the Venetians. His brother Domenico continued the line; his illegitimate son Roberto († 1482), who was legitimized by Pope Nicholas V , but who was possibly an illegitimate son of Sigismondo himself, seized the rule through intrigue and had the legitimate son Sigismondo killed. He succeeded in partially recapturing the old Malatag area. Roberto's son Pandolfo IV (1475–1534) was the last ruler of the Malatesta family. After he was expelled by Cesare Borgia , he sold Rimini to Venice after his fall in 1503. Rimini fell back to the Papal States in 1509. Until 1527 there were still some more or less successful attempts by the Malatestas to take possession of the city.

In the following generations, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the family produced a number of condottieri (generals) who placed themselves as mercenaries in the service of various cities and duchies. The line of the Counts of Sogliano died out in 1640, their property fell to the Papal States (the Malatesta castle there was demolished in the 19th century). The Malatesta from Rimini went out with the Jesuit Robert Malatesta († 1708), the line of the Malatesta from Ghiaggiolo with Lamberto in 1757.

Lords of Rimini

Blasone Malatesta.svg
  1. Malatesta Malatesta (1239-1248), Podestà
  2. Malatesta da Verucchio (1262-1312), Podestà
  3. Malatestino Malatesta (1312-1317)
  4. Pandolfo Malatesta (1317-1326)
  5. Ferrantino Malatesta (1326-1353)
  6. Malatesta Malatesta (1353-1364)
  7. Galeotto Malatesta (1364-1385)
  8. Carlo Malatesta (1385-1429)
  9. Galeotto Roberto Malatesta (1429-1432)
  10. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1432–1468)
  11. Roberto Malatesta (1468–1482)
  12. Pandolfo Malatesta (1482–1528)

Lords of Pesaro

  1. Gianciotto Malatesta (1294–1304)
  2. Pandolfo I Malatesta (1304-1326)
  3. Malatesta Antico Malatesta (1322-1364)
  4. Ferrantino Malatesta (… –1353)
  5. Malatesta Malatesta the Hungarian (… –1372)
  6. Galeotto Malatesta (1372-1385)
  7. Malatesta Malatesta (1370–1429)
  8. Carlo Malatesta (1429-1438)
  9. Galeazzo Malatesta (1438-1445)
  10. Alessandro Sforza (from 1445)

Family relationships

Until Pandolfo Malatesta († 1326)

  1. Malatesta from Rimini († 1195)
    1. Giovanni Malatesta († 1221)
      1. Remberto Malatesta, attested until 1240 - descendants: Counts of Sogliano
    2. Malatesta Malatesta († before 1197)
      1. Malatesta Malatesta, Podestà from Rimini 1239–1248
        1. Malatesta da Verruchio (1262–1312), Podestà of Rimini from 1262
          1. Gianciotto Malatesta († 1304) Podestà of Pesaro from 1294 ⚭ 1275 Francesca da Rimini
          2. Paolo Malatesta ⚭ Beatrice Countess of Chiaggiolo - descendants, extinct 1757
          3. Piero Malatesta, lover of Francesca da Rimini
          4. Malatestino Malatesta († 1317), lord of Rimini
            1. Ferrantino Malatesta († 1353) Lord of Pesaro, Lord of Rimini from 1326
              1. Malatestino Malatesta († 1335) Podestà from Cesena
          5. Pandolfo Malatesta († 1326) Lord of Pesaro, Lord of Rimini from 1317

From Pandolfo Malatesta († 1326)

  1. Pandolfo Malatesta († 1326) Lord of Pesaro, Lord of Rimini from 1317
    1. Malatesta Malatesta († 1364) Lord of Pesaro from 1322, Lord of Rimini from 1353
      1. Malatesta Malatesta the Hungarian (June 1327 - July 17, 1372), in Pesaro ⚭ May 2, 1362 Costanza d'Este (July 25, 1343 - February 13, 1392) daughter of Obizzo III. d'Este
        1. Costanza Malatesta († October 15, 1378) ⚭ July 29, 1363 Ugo d'Este (1344–1370)
      2. Pandolfo Malatesta (* 1325; † 1373) ⚭ Paola di Bertoldo Orsini
        1. Malatesta Malatesta († 1429) ⚭ Elisabetta da Varano, Lord of Pesaro from 1385
          1. Antonia Malatesta ⚭ 1408 Giovanni Maria Visconti (1388–1412) Duke of Milan
          2. Carlo Malatesta ⚭ Vittoria Colonna († 1438) Lord of Pesaro
          3. Galeazzo Malatesta († 1457) ⚭ Battista da Montefeltro, Lord of Pesaro 1438, ceded Pesaro to his grandson on January 15, 1445
            1. Elisabetta Malatesta († 1477), 1443 nun ⚭ Pietro Gentile Varano († 1433) Lord of Camerino
              1. Constantia Varano († 1447) ⚭ Alessandro Sforza , Lord of Pesaro January 15, 1445
          4. Parisina Malatesta († May 1425) ⚭ April 2, 1418 Niccolò III. d'Este († 1441) Margrave of Ferrara , Modena and Reggio nell'Emilia
          5. Paola Malatesta ⚭ 1410 Gianfrancesco I Gonzaga (1395–1444), lord and margrave of Mantua
          6. Cleope Malatesta ⚭ Theodor II. Palaiologos
          7. Galeotto Malatesta
          8. Pandolfo Malatesta, Bishop
    2. ? Caterina Malatesta ⚭ around 1320 Luigi I. Gonzaga (1267–1360) lord of Mantua
    3. Galeotto Malatesta (* 1299; † 1385) in Rimini 1364, in Pesaro 1372
      1. Carlo Malatesta († 1429) Lord of Rimini from 1385, Lord of Brescia 1404–1410 ⚭ 1386 Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of Luigi II Gonzaga of Mantua
      2. Margerita Malatesta († 1399) ⚭ 1393 Francesco I. Gonzaga (1366–1407) city lord of Mantua
      3. Paola Malatesta († 1449)
      4. Pandolfo Malatesta († 1427)
        1. Galeotto Roberto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini 1429–1432 ⚭ 1427 Margehrita d'Este, daughter of Niccolò III. d'Este
        2. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (* 1417; † 1468), Lord of Rimini from 1432 and Condottiere ⚭ 1) 1433 Ginevra d'Este (* March 24, 1419; † October 12, 1440) daughter of Niccolò III. d'Este , ⚭ 2) Polissena Sforza (1428–1449), daughter of Francesco I. Sforza , ⚭ 3) 1456 Isotta degli Atti († 1470)
        3. (Domenico) Malatesta Novello, (born August 5, 1418 in Brescia, † November 20, 1465 in Cesena) Lord of Cesena, Bertinoro, Meldola and Sarsina 1433–1465; Founder of the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena in 1452
          1. Roberto Malatesta (illegitimate) († September 11, 1482), Lord of Rimini from 1468
            1. Pandolfo Malatesta (* 1475; † 1534) Lord of Rimini from 1482, expelled from the citizens on June 17, 1528, freed by the Pope , sold Rimini to Venice
              1. Sigismondo Malatesta († 1543)
                1. Ercole Malatesta († 1587)
                  1. Sigismondo Malatesta († 1605)
                    1. Carlo Malatesta († 1655)
                      1. Robert Malatesta († April 17, 1708), Jesuit

More people

Web links

Commons : Haus Malatesta  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Trevor Dean: Malatesta. In: Volker Reinhardt (ed.): The great families of Italy (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 485). Kröner, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-520-48501-X , p. 325; Rimini. In: Encyclopædia Britannica , 11th edition, 1910-11, vol. 23, p. 344.
  2. a b c d e f g h Anna Falcioni: Malatesta, Dizionario Biografico degli Italia, Volume 68 (2007)