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Capitis deminutio

Capitis deminutio is a Latin term used in Roman law that describes a legal process which alters or diminishes an individual’s legal status or rights. There are three forms of capitis deminutio in Roman law:

  1. Capitis Deminutio Maxima: This is the most severe form which involves losing all rights and status as a Roman citizen, including freedom. This can occur through enslavement, exile, or similar circumstances.
  2. Capitis Deminutio Media: This form involves a partial loss of rights and status. For instance, if a Roman citizen becomes a slave but is later freed, they would experience capitis deminutio media because they lost their status as a free citizen, but regained it to some extent upon being freed.
  3. Capitis Deminutio Minima: This is the least severe form, which involves minimal loss of rights and status. It typically occurs when a person’s family status changes, such as a woman getting married and taking her husband’s name.

It is worth noting that these concepts are rooted in Roman law and have historical significance. They are not commonly used in modern legal systems, but the idea of changes in legal status or rights remains relevant in contemporary law.

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