Sneek Peek Week II Day 3! The peek picked for today is Max.
Max was originally a short form of MAXIMILIAN; now it may also be encountered as short for MAXWELL: or even MAXIMUS. 19th Century. Bearers: Max Weber (1881-1961), the Russian-born US artist; Max Mallowan (1904-78) – born Edgar – the British archaeologist; Max Rockatansky, the hero of the 1979 film Mad Max and its sequels; Max Dennison, a character in the film Hocus Pocus (1993).
Folklore says that Maximilian was created by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III for his son by combining the names of two ancient Romans he admired – namely Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator (d.203 BCE) and Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (185-129 BCE). There was also a Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus, consul in 145 BCE, and it is possible the name was intended to be a telescoping of his cognomina – Maximus Aemilianus. The baby so named went on to rule as Maximilian I (1459-1519), and there is no doubt that the spread of Maximilian as a given name — first in Germany and then elsewhere — is down to the Hapsburgs. However, there was an obscure 3rd Century saint called Maximilianus, although he doesn’t appear in the records till the 9th Century. His name meant ‘belonging to Maximillus’. Maximillus is a diminutive form of MAXIMUS. Diminutive: MAX. French: Maximilien, Italian: Massimiliano, Russian: Maksimilian. Bearers: Maximilien Robespierre (1758-94), the French revolutionary.
Latin: maximus ‘greatest’. Maximus was used as a cognomen in Roman times – most notably by members of the aristocratic Fabius clan. Magnus Maximus (c.335-88) – whose full name is not known – was one of a number of rival Roman Emperors between 383 and 385 CE, who is remembered in Welsh legend as Macsen Wledig. Maximus Tiranus (fl.409-411) was another pretender to the imperial throne. There was never, however, any with the garbled name Maximus Decimus Meridius – the name of the hero of the US film Gladiator (2000), who is responsible for raising the name’s profile since the Millennium. 16th Century. Feminine: Maxima. Italian: Massimo, Russian: Maxim, Maksim, Romanian: Maxim, French: Maxime, Spanish: Maximo, Welsh: MACSEN. Bearers: Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), the Russian writer.