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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

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Malatesta, Sigismondo Pandolfo

(b Rimini, 1417; d Rimini, 1468). At a very young age he distinguished himself as a condottiere in the service of the papacy, and from the 1430s he was involved in many of the important military engagements on the Italian peninsula. His fortunes began to wane, however, when in 1447 he deserted Alfonso I, King of Naples and Sicily (reg 1416–58). This desertion, his subsequent hostilities toward the Montefeltro and Sforza families, and his disregard in 1459 of peace terms proposed by Pope Pius II severely tarnished his reputation and heralded the eventual decline of his political and military fortunes. Although he continued to provide his services as a condottiere, fighting for Venice against the Turks (1464–5), his enemies had managed to reduce his base of power to Rimini alone by the time of his death.

Roger J. Crum