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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.

Biography

Born in Wiener Neustadt, he was the fourth son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Maximilian 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 onwards, he was the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

In 1587 Maximilian was a candidate for the monarch of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, following the death of the previous Polish king, Stefan Batory. The election was disputed by another candidate, Sigismund III Vasa, prince of Sweden, grandson of Sigismund I the Old. When Maximilian attempted to resolve the dispute by bringing a military force and starting the war of the Polish Succession, wherein he was defeated at the Battle of Byczyna by the supporters of Sigismund III, the newly proclaimed king, under the command of Polish hetman Jan Zamojski. He was taken captive and released only after intervention by Pope Sixtus V. In 1589, he waived his right to the Polish crown. The inactivity of his brother Emperor Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor in this matter contributed to Rudolf's bad reputation.

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

Maximilian's best known legacy is the baroque archducal hat, which is exhibited in the treasure chamber of the monastery of Klosterneuburg and was used for ceremonial purposes as late as 1835.

He died at Vienna in 1618; he is buried in the St. Jakobskirche at Innsbruck.

Ancestors

Preceded by
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria
Archduke Mathias, his elder brother
Governor of Tirol
Archduke of Further Austria

1612-1618
Succeeded by
Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria
his first cousin
Preceded by
Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria
Regent of Styria
1593-95
Succeeded by
Ferdinand III, Archduke of Inner Austria
Preceded by
Heinrich von Bobenhausen
Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
1590-1618
Succeeded by
Archduke Charles III of Austria (1619)
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