Maximilian Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: mak-sə-MIL-yən (key)

Origin of the name Maximilian:

Arose as a blending of the Latin Maximus (greatest) and Aemiliānus by the Emperor Frederich III, who bestowed it upon his first-born son, Maximilian I (1459 - 1519), in honor of two famous Roman generals. Maximus is directly derived from maximus (greatest), but the etymology of Aemiliānus is uncertain.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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Nicknames for Maximilian

Max, Maxi, Milo, Miles, Mac, Mack,

Meanings and history of the name Maximilian

The name Maximilian comes from the Latin “Maximilianus” which is a form of “Maximus” meaning ‘greatest.’ The name was borne from Saint Maximilian of Tebessa, a 3rd-century saint and martyr.

Maximilian became a traditional name among the royal Habsburg family members in Austria-Hungary as well as the royal house of Bavaria.

In the 15th century the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III gave this name to his son and eventual heir Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519). In this case it was a blend of the names of the Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, who Frederick admired. Fabius Maximus lived in the 3rd century B.C. and made a name for himself during the Second Punic War (Roman Republic vs. Carthage). He prevented Hannibal’s army from receiving needed resources while preserving the strength of his own forces. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus was a leading general of the Roman army during the Third Punic War and commanded the final siege of Carthage (present day Tunisia) in the 2nd century B.C. This resulted in the complete destruction of Rome’s long time enemy. Together, the names of these two remarkable Roman generals formed the word for ‘greatness’.

The name Maximilian was subsequently borne by a second Holy Roman Emperor, two kings of Bavaria, a short-lived Habsburg emperor of Mexico, and many more.

Famous real-life people named Maximilian

Saint Maximilian (martyr), 3rd-century Christian martyr
Saint Maximilian of Lorch, Christian bishop martyred in AD 288
Saint Maximilian of Antioch, Christian martyr under Julian the Apostate died AD 353
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, 20th-century Christian martyr of charity killed at Auschwitz

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519)
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (1527–1576)
Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria (1573–1651)
Maximilian II, Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (1662–1726)
Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria (1727–1777)
Maximilian I, Joseph King of Bavaria (1756–1825)
Maximilian II, King of Bavaria (1811–1864)
Maximilian Joseph, Duke of Bavaria (1808–1888)
Maximilian Wilhelm, Prince of Baden and Chancellor of German Empire (1867–1929)
Maximilian I of Mexico, Emperor of Mexico (1832–1867)

Other people
Maximillian (Max) Schmeling, German boxer heavyweight champion of the world (1930-1932)
Maximilian Schell, actor, Academy Award for Best Actor in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Maximilian, or Max Crook, American musician
Maximilian Levy, German track cyclist
Maximilien Robespierre, politician one of the best-known/most influential figures of the French Revolution
Maximilian Ronge, Austrian intelligence officer
Maximilianus Transylvanus (Maximilian von Sevenborg), sixteenth-century author
Maximillian Edward-Lloyd Jones, actor The Sandlot 2 (Movie), Switched at Birth (TV Series)
Maximilian David Muñiz (b. 2008), son of American singer, actress, dancer, and producer Jennifer Lopez and American singer, actor, record producer, and television producer Marc Anthony
Maximilian Rainier Casiraghi (b. 2018), son of fourth in line to the Monegasque throne Andrea Casiraghi and American-born socialite and heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo, brother to Alexandre Andrea Stefano and India Julia
Maximilian Griffin (b. 2018), son of English actress and writer Cush Jumbo

Maximilian in song, story & screen

Tsar Maximilian, hero of the eponymous Russian folk-play
Maximilian Morrel, character in the Book/Movie The Count of Monte Cristo
Maximillian (robot), robot from the 1979 Disney motion picture, The Black Hole
Maximillian Arturo, fictional character on science fiction TV show Sliders
Maximillian Faversham, character in the radio comedy The Penny Dreadfuls Present...
Maximillian Skinner, main (fictional) character in A Good Year
Maximillian, main character in the PlayStation 2 video game Dark Cloud 2
Maximilian (Maxie) Zeus, Batman villain
Maximilian, one of the three playable geniuses in the real time strategy game, Evil Genius
Maximilian Gaius Von Reginrave, imperial general invading the country Gallia in Valkyria Chronicles
Maximillian (Max) Goof, son of the popular Disney character Goofy
Maximilian Veers, Imperial General in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

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