Maximilian III, Erzherzog von Habsburg

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About Maximilian III, Erzherzog von Habsburg,_Archduke_of_Austria

Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria

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Maximilian III

Archduke of Further Austria

Reign 1612-1618

Predecessor Charles II

Successor Ferdinand III

Father Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor

Mother Maria of Spain

Born 12 October 1558

Died 2 Novembar 1618

Maximilian III, also known as Maximilian der Deutschmeister (12 October 1558 – 2 November 1618) was the Archduke of Further Austria from 1612 until his death.

[edit] Biography

Born in Wiener Neustadt, Maximilian was the fourth son of the emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. He was a grandson of Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, daughter and heiress of Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary, who himself was the eldest son of Casimir IV of Poland. He descended from the ancient Piast kings of Poland, and from Jogaila and his forefathers, Grand Dukes of Lithuania. The late Sigismund I the Old, himself a younger son, was Maximilian's great-great-uncle, and Maximilian descended from Sigismund's eldest brother.

From 1585 Maximilian became the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, and he was known by the epithet 'der Deutschmeister' for much of his later life.

In 1587 Maximilian stood as a candidate for the throne of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, following the death of the previous king, Stefan Batory. A portion of the Polish nobility elected Maximilian king, but, as a result of the rather chaotic nature of the election process, another candidate, Sigismund III Vasa, prince of Sweden, grandson of Sigismund I the Old, was also elected. Maximilian attempted to resolve the dispute by bringing a military force to Poland – thereby starting the war of the Polish Succession. His cause had considerable support in Poland, but fewer Poles flocked to his army than to that of his rival. After a failed attempt to storm Kraków in late 1587, he was defeated in January 1588, at the Battle of Byczyna by the supporters of Sigismund III (who had since been formally crowned), under the command of Polish hetman Jan Zamojski. Maximilian was taken captive at the battle and was only released after the intervention of Pope Sixtus V. In 1589, he formally renounced his claim to the Polish crown. The inactivity of his brother, the emperor Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor in this matter contributed to Rudolf's poor reputation.

From 1593 to 1595 Maximilian as served regent for his young cousin, Ferdinand, Archduke of Inner Austria. In 1595 he succeeded their uncle Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria in his territories, including Tirol, where he proved to be a solid proponent of the Counter-Reformation. He also worked to depose Melchior Khlesl, and to ensure that Archduke Ferdinand of Inner Austria, his former charge, succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor.

Today, Maximilian is perhaps best remembered for his baroque archducal hat, exhibited in the treasury of the monastery of Klosterneuburg and was used for ceremonial purposes as late as 1835.

He died at Vienna in 1618, and is buried in St. Jakobskirche, Innsbruck.

This page was last modified on 22 February 2010 at 16:08

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Maximilian III, Erzherzog von Habsburg's Timeline

October 12, 1558
Austria - son of Maxilian II
November 2, 1618
Age 60