The emperor Isaac Angelus had not only the old grudge of all Eastern 1 The "economic" motive for taking the cross was strengthened by the papal regulations in favour of debtors who joined the Crusade.
The relief of debtors, and the steps which he took to restore Italian agriculture, were of the nature of palliatives) those which have a permanent significance as indicating his grasp of imperial problems. The Social War had brought to the inhabitants of Italy as far as the Po the privileges of Roman citizenship; it remained to extend this gift to the Transpadane Italians, to establish a uniform system of local administration and to devise representative institutions by which at least some voice in the government of Rome might be permitted to her new citizens.
In England the lessons of experience have shown that the abuses of this business are best regulated by a system of registration coupled with relief to debtors against harsh and unconscionable bargains.
In Ireland imprisonment for debt was abolished by the Debtors Act (Ireland) 1872, and in Scotland by the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1880.
The Poetelian law (326 B.C.) restricted the creditor's lien (by virtue of a nexum) to the goods of his debtor, and enacted that for the future no debtor should be put in chains; but we hear of debtors addicti to their creditors by the tribunals long after - even in the time of the Punic Wars.