In the eyes of some medieval Europeans, Outremer may have seemed rather like latter-day Europeans’ idyllic vision of America – a land whose pavements were lined with gold. In a hyperbolic portrayal of what it was like to settle in the East, Fulcher of Chartres wrote: “Those who were needy have here been enriched by God. Those who had a few coins, here possess countless bezants.” 1 Whereas opportunities for gaining wealth certainly existed for some of those who joined crusades or emigrated from feudal Europe, many others – soldiers, pilgrims and settlers – were either unable to shake off the state of poverty which they had known in the West or now found themselves descending into it through circumstance. Adjustment to the new surroundings was difficult, and the hardships of war took a high toll even on those who had previously been of means.