The Cleofe Papers






Pavane for a Dead Princess, I
Cleofe Malatesta

Pavane for a Dead Princess, II
Theodoros' Poem for Cleofe

Pavane for a Dead Princess, III
The Problem of Sex

Pavane for a Dead Princess, IV
Family Members

Pavane for a Dead Princess, V
Fascination with her Body

Pavane for a Dead Princess, VI
Cleofe as Saviour

Pavane for a Dead Princess, VII
Death and Burial

Pavane for a Dead Princess, VIII
Cleofe's Own Letters

Pavane for a Dead Princess, IX
About the pictures here

Pavane for a Dead Princess, X
More on the Poem by Theodoros

Pavane for a Dead Princess, XI
About Cleofe's Music



Cleofe Malatesta Palaiologina
married ca.19 January 1421
died 13 April 1433

Her Most Dear Daughter
Helena Palaiologina of Cyprus

Theodoros II Palaiologos

The Little Despots
The Despots as Children

Red Ink
Imperial Signatures

The Western-Rite Marriages

The Palace at Mistra
Building the new palace

Theodoros' Poem for Cleofe
Sources and Translations

Bessarion to Theodoros, I
His first trip to Constantinople

Bessarion to Theodoros, II
A plea for him to return

Scholarios on Theodoros II
Disappointment in a Ruler

The Doctor

The Doctor, II

The Pepagomenos Problem:
Problems in Identification

Malatesta dei Malatesti
Poet and Condottiere

Malatesta Stemma in Greece
Missing Stones and Found Treasure

The Imitation of the
Immortality of the Gods

Plethon on Sex

Plethon's Cleofe
Plethon's Monody

Bessarion's Missing Manuscript
What happened to his Monody?

Pisanello -- Lady at Tournament, and sinope, Ducal Palace, Mantua
Vasilissa, ergo gaude
a composition by Guillaume DuFay
for the marriage of Cleofe Malatesta and Theodoros II Palaiologos

Vasilissa, ergo gaude,
quia es digna omni laude,
Cleophe, clara gestis
a tuis de Malatestis,
in Italia principibus
magnis et nobilibus.

Ex tuo viro clarior,
quia cunctis est nobilior:
Romeorum est despotus,
quem colit mundus totus;
in porphyro est genitus,
a deo missus celitus.

Junvenili estate
polles et formositate
ingenio multum fecunda
et utraque lingua facunda
ac clarior es virtutibus
prae aliis hominibus.

Concupivit rex decorem tuum
quoniam ipse est dominus tuus.

Text from Capella Romana:
The Fall of Constantinople

Empress, therefore rejoice,
worthy are you of all praise,
Cleofé, glorious from the deeds
of your family Malatesta
princes in Italy
great and noble.

More glorious from your husband,
for he is nobler than all;
Despot of the Rhômaioi,
whom the whole world reveres;
born in the purple,
sent by God from heaven.

Radiant in yourthful bloom
and in beauty,
fecund in your wits
and eloquent in both tongues,
more glorious for your virtues
you are above other human beings.

The King desires your beauty;
now that he is your Lord.


Trans: DGW

16 January 2015