|Date of Birth:||Late 1804 or Early 1805|
|Appearance:||Bright red and orange|
Maximus (Latin for 'greatest') was a Regal Copper who was large even for his breed. His captain, Berkley, often grumbled about his size and how much he ate. Like all Regal Coppers, Maximus was very farsighted.
Maximus' dam was Laetificat. He was hatched at about the same the time as Temeraire and both were assigned to a formation led by a young Longwing, Lily. Maximus and Temeraire quickly became friends as they trained together.
After the Battle of Trafalgar in October 2005, Maximus, Temeraire and Lily witnessed the execution of Jean-Paul Choiseul, who had been convicted of treason, and its effect on Choiseul's dragon Praecursoris. They were quite shaken by this event and agreed on a pact: that if any one of their captains committed treason, all three dragons would band together to prevent that captain from being executed. Berkley chided them for being "damned conspirators," but at the time neither he nor Harcourt nor Laurence took the pact very seriously.
Like all the British dragons, Maximus contracted the Dragon Plague in 1806. In March 1807 after Temeraire had been exposed to the plague and found to be immune, he was finally allowed to visit Maximus and was greatly shocked by Maximus' gaunt appearance. The huge Regal Coppers suffered greatly from the loss of appetite that was one of the symptoms of the plague. They were unable to eat enough to maintain their muscle mass and eventually became unable to breathe.
Along with the rest of Lily's formation, Maximus was sent to Cape Town aboard the HMS Allegiance to find a cure. By the time the ship reached Cape Town, Maximus was so ill that he was unable to fly from the ship to the shore. He was only able to disembark after Temeraire suggested that he come into the water so that the two of them could swim to shore together.
Although Maximus was the first dragon to receive a dose of the mushroom that was found to cure the plague, he was the last one to recover. One problem was that even after his appetite recovered, his muscles were not yet strong enough to manage the launching leap that Regal Coppers use to get their massive bodies airborne. He was unable to exercise by flying, and his weight began to return, as Keynes put it, "unevenly" (i.e. in his paunch). Again, Temeraire's love of water led him to come up with a helpful idea - Temeraire suggested that Maximus exercise by swimming, encouraging him by saying that he might even catch a whale. Although Maximus never did succeed in catching a whale, he did catch a large shark. By the time the Allegiance was forced to leave Cape Town in July 1807, he was almost entirely recovered, although not yet up to his regular fighting weight.
Two months later, the British Admiralty released the infected French courier Sauvignon in a plot to spread the Dragon Plague to the continent. Unable to condone the deaths of so many other dragons - beings as intelligent as humans - Laurence and Temeraire committed treason by taking samples of the curative mushrooms to France. The next time Maximus and Berkley met Laurence, Maximus asked him to tell Temeraire that he and Lily had not forgotten their mutual defense pact. In fact, Maximus and Lily began talking up their pact among the other dragons at the Dover covert.