When anyone ought to receive money from another merchant, there appearing any writing of the scribes of the king they observe this practice – Let us suppose the case that some one has to pay me twenty-five ducats, and the debtor promises to pay them many times and does not pay them; I, not being willing to wait any longer, nor to give him any indulgence, shall take a green branch in  my hand, shall go swiftly behind the debtor, and with the said branch shall draw a circle on the ground surrounding him, and if I can enclose him in the circle, I shall say to him these words three times: “Bramini raza porthe polle” ; that is “I command you by the head of the Brahmins and of the king, that you do not depart hence until you have paid me and satisfied me as much as I ought to have from thee”. And he will satisfy me, or truly he will die there without any other guard. And shouldd he quit the said circle and not pay me, the king would put him to death

The ordinary rate of interest was 12% per annum. Penal interest was charged at 1% compound interest per mensem. But no interest was charged, according to the ancient custom of the country, after the total debt had accumulated to twice the principal sum originally lent.

Advertisements