Of Latin origin.
Also spelled Maximillian.
From the Ancient Roman name Maximilianus, which derives from Maximus.
Maximus was a Roman family name.
In Latin maximus means “greatest”.
Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor, gave the name to his son, combining the names Maximus and Aemilianus, inspired by two Roman generals he admired.
Feminine forms of the name are: Maximiliane, Maxine, Maxene.
Other forms of the name are: Max, Massimiliano, Maximiliano, Maxi.
Maximilian is a popular name in Austria.
Famous bearers are Maximilian Schell, Maximilian Levy.
Maximilian Schell was an Austrian actor.
In his long and successful career, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor and a Golden Globe as well as several more awards.
Additional information concerning the Ancient Roman naming system:
According to the Roman naming rules, the basic elements of Roman names were three. A “praenomen”, a “nomen”, and a “cognomen”.
A “praenomen” was the first name, indicating the personal name.
A “nomen” was the second name, indicating the ‘gens’ to which the bearer of the name belonged to. Gens, meaning the group of families sharing a common “nomen”.
“Nomen” would stand as the group of loosely connected families claiming common ancestors. “Nomen” were always patrilinear, meaning from the father.
A “cognomen” was the third name and was something like the surname. Cognomina (plural of cognomen) were usually inherited. They were rarely given to the bearer by general consensus by the prominent members of the community.
There were several types of “cognomina”, such as geographical, adoptive, occupational, etc. In very rare cases the “cognomina” could be metronymic, meaning from the mother’s “nomen”.