The Crusades and the Dawn of Christian Conflict

Nearly every man among the 20,000 or so gathered there had never experienced the intensity of real desert heat. Many of them were blistering on the back of their necks and thighs. Suddenly, they were exposed to 106 degrees by late morning, rising to 115 in the afternoon. These were knights, pilgrims, monks, and serfs who hailed from northern climes such as Gaul, Brittany, and Germany. Back home, the lakes and seas were still cool for swimming, even on a hot day in July.