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How could Roman citizen lose his citizenship?

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Antoninus Pius in a toga
Antoninus Pius in a toga

Roman citizen may have lost citizenship as a result of capitis deminutio media. The loss of citizenship also entailed the loss of freedom – capitis deminutio maxima (the greatest diminution of personality).

A man could lose his citizenship if he defected from the army, maimed himself on purpose to avoid service, or avoided censorship to be disregarded for tax collection. Capitis deminutio maxima and media caused the extinction of patriae potestatis by the current patris familias, dissolution of the marriage (by losing iuris conubii) and extinction of limited property rights.

In other words, such a man forfeited all his privileges.

  • Rozwadowski Władysław, Prawo rzymskie, Poznań 1992

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