Three Futile Battles of the Island of Britain:
  • One of them was the Battle of Goddeu: it was brought about by the cause of the bitch, together with the roebuck and the plover;
  • The second was the Action of Arfderydd, which was brought by the cause of the lark's nest;
  • And the third was the worst: that was Camlan, which was brought about because of a quarrel between Gwenhwyfar and Gwennhwyfach.

This is why those (Battles) were called Futile: because they were brought about by such a barren cause as that.

The first is the Battle of the Trees or Cad Goddeu in the Book of Taliesin; it was not futile, actually--it was a battle between the Children of Don and the forces of Annwfn.

The second is the Battle of Arthuret, which is thought to actually been a rather futile bit of infighting between Gwenddolau and Peredur ab Efrawg.

The third is the Battle of Camlan, Arthur's last battle, which here is said to be caused by someone other than Mordred. Another triad says that Gwennhwyfach slapped Gwenhwyfar, and that started it; another triad says Mordred slapped Gwenhwyfar, and that started it.

Back to The Welsh Triads.

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