The name could either be a German form ofFrancis or it may come directly from the Old High German word for “free.”
The name was borne by two Holy Roman Emperors and by Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Other notable bearers include Franz Kafka and Franz Liszt.
The name was very popular in Germany all the way up till the middle of the 20th-century, but fell out of usage, being considered rather dated, it has recently caught on again and is currently the 141st most popular male name in Germany, (2011).
The name comes directly from the Persian word for “free,” and has been in usage since Pre-Islamic times. It was borne by Azad Shah Afghan (1750-1781) the founder of the Azad dynasty which had ruled most of Central Asia for the later half of the 18th-century. It was also borne by an early Christian saint and martyr who was martyred along with his companions under the Sassanid Empire of the 4th-century. In the Western calendar of Saints, his name is usally latinized as Asatus.
It is currently borne by a German rapper of Kurdish descent, known simply as Azad (b.1974)
Azad is currently the 465th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).
The names are borne in Roman mythology by two fertility gods who were consorts. Liber was originally an old native Italian god, possibly of Etruscan origins, but with the influx of Greek culture later in the Empire he came to be associated with the god Dionysus. His wife/sister Libera was later associated with Ariadne and Persephone.
Liber’s festival was usually celebrated on March 17, known as the festival of the Liberalia, where young boys would receive their first toga virilis.