16 May


Blacks Law 8th Edition: capitis deminutio (kap-i-tis dem-i-n[y]oo-shee-oh). [Latin “reduction of status”] Roman law.
A diminution or alteration of a person’s legal status. — Also spelled capitis diminutio. See DE CAPITE MINUTIS.
“Capitis deminutio is the destruction of the ‘caput’ or legal personality. Capitis deminutio, so to speak, wipes out the former individual and puts a new one in his place, and between the old and the new individual there is, legally speaking, nothing in common. A juristic personality may be thus destroyed in one of three ways: (1) by loss of the status libertatis. This is the capitis deminutio maxima; (2) by loss of the status civitatis. This is the capitis deminutio media (magna); (3) by severance from the agnatic family. This entails capitis deminutio minima.” Rudolph Sohm, The Institutes: A Textbook of the History and System of Roman Private Law 178–79 (James Crawford Ledlie trans., 3d ed. 1907).

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