This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Cleph" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
King of the Lombards
Reign572 - 574
SuccessorAuthari (after 10 years of regency)
two daughters

Cleph[1] (also Clef, Clepho, or Kleph) was king of the Lombards from 572 to 574.

He succeeded Alboin, to whom he was not related by blood. He was a violent and terrifying figure to the Romans and Byzantines struggling to maintain control of the Italian Peninsula. He extended Lombard dominion over all of Northern Italy, finishing the conquest of Tuscany and bringing Lombard authority to the gates of Ravenna. He was assassinated after an 18-month reign by a young guard, a slave whom he had mistreated. His death was followed by a 10-year interregnum, known as the Rule of the Dukes because the territorial dukes were supreme. His son, Authari, eventually took the throne in 585.[2] He was buried in the Church of Santi Gervasio e Protasio in Pavia.[3]


  1. ^ Possibly cognate with Old Norse Leifr, meaning "heir, descendant".
  2. ^ "German Tribes org Lombard Kings". Archived from the original on 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  3. ^ Majocchi, Piero (2010). "Le sepolture regie nell'alto medioevo (secoli VI-X)". Reti Medievali Rivista. 9: 12–14. ISSN 1593-2214. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
Regnal titles Preceded byAlboin King of the Lombards 572–574 VacantRule of the DukesTitle next held byAuthari