House of Malatesta

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de Malatestiis
Noble house
Coat of arms of the House of Malatesta.svg
Motto: "The Indian elephant isn't afraid of mosquitos"
(Latin: Elephas indus culices non timet)[1]
Country Italy
San Marino
Estates Castel Sismondo (Rimini)
Rocca Malatestiana (Cesena)
Founded 1295; 720 years ago (1295)
Founder Malatesta da Verucchio
Final ruler Pandolfo IV Malatesta
Dissolution 1619 (1619)
Deposition 1528 (1528)
Ethnicity Italian

The House of Malatesta was an Italian family that ruled over Rimini from 1295 until 1500, as well as (in different periods) other lands and towns in Romagna.

Malatesta da Verucchio (d. 1312), a Guelph leader, became podestà (chief magistrate) of Rimini in 1239 and made himself sole master of the city after the expulsion of the family's Ghibelline rivals, the Parcitadi, in 1295.

His hunchback son Giovanni Malatesta is chiefly famous because he murdered his wife Francesca da Polenta and younger brother Paolo in 1285, having discovered them in adultery, and the murder is recorded in Dante's Inferno.

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Malatestas ruled over a number of cities in the Romagna and the Marche, including Pesaro, Fano, Cesena, Fossombrone and Cervia.

Several Malatestas were condottieri at the service of various Italian states. The most famous was Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who was engaged in conflict with the papacy over territorial claims. His grandson Pandolfo was eventually expelled from Rimini in 1500 by Cesare Borgia and the city was finally incorporated in the Papal States in 1528, after the last failed attempt of Pandolfo's son, Sigismondo.

Malatesta Family[edit]

1st generation:

2nd generation:
di Malatestino:

  • (7) Ferrantino (d.1353) (son of 3) - Lord of Rimini, 1326, deposed & imprisoned by 11, 1334

di Paolo:

di Giancotto

  • (9) Ramberto (d.1330) (son of 5) - murdered by 14
  • (10) Guido the Archpriest (d.1334?) (son of 5)

di Pandolfo:

3rd generation:
di Ferrantino:

  • (13) Pandolfino (d.?) (son of 7)
  • (14) Malatestino Novello (d.1335) (son of 7) - imprisoned & prob. murdered by 11.

di Malatesta:

di Galeotto:

4th generation

di Pandolfino:

  • (21) Ferrantino Novello (d.1352) (son of 13)
  • (22) Guido (d.1334) (son of 13) - imprisoned & prob. murdered by 11

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Francesca Cappelletti; Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich (1997). Der Antike Mythos und Europa. Gebrüder Mann Verlag. p. 250. 


  • J. Larner (1965) The Lords of Romagna: Romagnol society and the origins of the Signorie, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p. 243
  • P. H. Wicksteed and E.G. Gardner, (1902) Dante and Giovanni del Virgilio, Westminster: Archibald Constable, p. 249, 336

External links[edit]