Triads of Britain
|Triads of Britain (1807)
by , translated by William Probert
| Translation based on William Probert (1823) [with very brief annotations by User:Nicknack009]The so-called "third series" of Welsh Triads was compiled by Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams) and published in Y Myvyrian Archaiology in 1807. Some are variants of the medieval Welsh Triads found in manuscrips such as the Red Book of Hergest, but others are original to the series. "These Triads, in so far as they are not fabricates of Iolo Morganwg, are the works of Welsh antiquarians between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries."|
There were three names given to the Isle of Britain from the first: before it was inhabited it was called the Sea-girt Green Space (Clas Myrddin); after it was inhabited, it was called the Honey Island (Y Vel Ynys); and after the people were formed into a common-wealth, by Prydain the son of Aedd the Great, it was denominated the Isle of Britain. And no one has any right to it but the tribe of the Cambrians, for they first took possession; and before this time there were no persons living on it; but it was full of bears, wolves, crocodiles, and bisons.
There were three primary divisions of the Isle of Britain: Cambria, Lloegria and Alban, and the rank of sovereignty belongs to each of the three. And under a monarchy and voice of the country they are governed, according to the regulations of Prydain, the son of Aedd the Great; and to the nation of the Cambrians belongs the right of establishing the monarchy by the voice of the country and the people, according to rank and primeval right. And under the protection of such regulation, royalty ought to exist in every country in the Isle of Britain, and every royalty ought to be under the protection of the voice of the country. Therefore it is said as a proverb: "a country is more powerful than a lord."
There are three pillars of the social state in the Isle of Britain: the voice of the country, royalty, and judicature, according to the regulation of Prydain the son of Aedd the Great.
There are three pillars of the nation of the Isle of Britain. The first was Hu the Mighty, who brought the nation of the Cambrians first to the Isle of Britain; and they came from the Summer Country, which is also called Defrobani (that is, where Constantinople now stands); and they came over the Hazy Sea to the Isle of Britain, and to Armorica, where they settled. The second was Prydain the son of Aedd the Great, who first organized a social state of sovereignty in Britain; for before that time there was no justice but what was done by favour; nor any law, except that of superior force. The third was Dyvnwal Moelmud, for he first made arrangements respecting the laws, maxims, customs, and privileges of the country and tribe. And on account of these reasons, they were called the three pillars of the nation of the Cambrians.
There were three social tribes on the Isle of Britain. The first was the tribe of the Cambrians, who came to the Isle of Britain with Hu the Mighty, because he would not possess a country and lands by fighting and pursuit, but by justice and tranquility. The second was the tribe of the Lloegrians, who came from Gascony, and they were descended from the primitive tribe of the Cambrians. The third were the Brython, who came from Armorica, and who were descended from the primitive tribe of the Cambrians. These were called the three peaceful tribes because they came by mutual consent and tranquility; and these tribes were descended from the primitive tribe of the Cambrians, and all three tribes had the same language and speech.
There were three refuge-seeking tribes that came to the Island of Britain; and they came under the peace and permission of the tribe of the Cambrians, without arms and without opposition. The first was a tribe of Caledonians in the north. The second was the Irish tribe, who dwelled in the Highlands of Scotland. The third were the people of Galedin, who came in naked vessels to the Isle of Wight, when their country was drowned, where they had land granted them by the tribe of the Cambrians. They had no privilege of claim in the Isle of Britain, but they had land and protection assigned to them under certain limitations; and it was stipulated that they should not possess the rank of native Cambrians until the ninth of their lineal descendants.
There were three invading tribes that came to the Island of Britain and who never departed from it. The first were the Coranians (Coraniaid) that came from the country of Pwyl. The second were the Irish Picts who came to Alban by the North Sea. The third were the Saxons. The Coranians were settled about the River Humber, and the shore of the German Ocean; and the Irish Picts are in Alban about the shore of the Sea of Denmark. The Coranians and the Saxons united, and by violence and conquest brought the Loegrians into confederacy with them; and subsequently took the crown of the monarchy from the tribe of the Cambrians. And there remained none of the Loegrians that did not become Saxons, except those that are found in Cornwall, and the commot of Carnoban in Deria and Bernicia. In this manner the primitive tribe of the Cambrians, who preserved both their country and their language, lost the sovereignty of the Isle of Britain on account of the treachery of the refuge-seeking tribes, and the pillage of the three invading tribes.
There were three invading tribes that came to the Island of Britain, and who subsequently left it. The first was the Scandinavians, who came here after Urb of the Mighty Host had taken away from the Island the flower of the tribe of the Cambrians. He took away with him 63,000 effective men, and steeds for war. At the end of the third age the Cambrians drove the Scandinavians over the sea into Germany. The second were the troops of Ganval the Irishman, who came into Gwynedd and settled there for twenty nine years, until they were driven into the sea by Caswallawn son of Beli, son of Mynogan. The third were the Caesareans, who continued by violence on this Island more than four hundred years, when they returned to Italy to oppose the fierce contention of the black invasion; and they did not return again to the Island of Britain. Because the Cambrians marched with them, none were left in the Island but women and little children under nine years of age.
There were three treacherous invasions of the Island of Britain: the first were the red Irishmen from Ireland, who came to Alban; the second were the Scandinavians; and the third were the Saxons. These last came to this Island in peace and by the permission of the tribe of the Cambrians, and in the protection of God and his truth, as well as in the protection of the country and of the tribe; and by treachery and mischief they opposed the tribe of the Cambrians, and were able to wrest from them the sovereign power of the Island of Britain, and they mutually confederated themselves in Lloegria and Alban, where they still reside. This happened in the age of Vortigern.
There were three disappearances by loss in the Isle of Britain. The first were Gavran and his men, who went in search of the Green Islands of the floods, and were never heard of after. The second were Merddin the bard of Emrys, and his nine attendant bards, who went to sea in a house of glass, and the place where they went is unknown. The third was Madog the son of Owain king of North Wales, who went to sea with three hundred persons in ten ships, but the place to which they went is unknown.
There were three oppressions that came upon the Isle of Britain, but which were brought to a termination: first the oppression of the Horse of Malaen, which is called the oppression of the first of May; second, the oppression of the dragon of Britain; and the oppression of the half-apparent man. That is, the first was from beyond the sea; the second was from the madness of the country and the nation under the pressure of the violence and lawlessness of princes; but Dyvnwal Moelmud destroyed it, by forming just regulations between society and society, prince and neighbouring prince, and country and neighbouring country; and the third was in the time of Beli the son of Manogan, which was a treacherous conspiracy, but he extinguished it.
There were three frightful plagues in the Isle of Britain. First, the plague that arose from the corpses of the Irishmen who were slaughtered in Manuba, after they had oppressed North Wales for the space of twenty-nine years. Second, the infection of the yellow plague of Rhoss, on account of the corpses which were slain there, and if any one went within reach of the effluvia he died immediately. The third was the sickness of the Bloody Sweat, on account of the corn having been destroyed by wet weather in the time of the Norman invasion by William the Bastard.
There were three awful events in the Isle of Britain. The first was the bursting of the Lake of Floods, and the rushing of an inundation over all the lands, until all persons were destroyed, except Dwyvan and Dwyvach, who escaped in an open vessel; and from them the Isle of Britain was peopled. The second was the trembling of the fiery torrent, until the earth was rent to the abyss, and the greater part of all life was destroyed. The third was the Hot Summer, when the trees and plants took fire by the burning heat of the sun, and many people and animals, various kinds of birds, vermin, trees and plants, were entirely lost.
There were three combined expeditions that went from the Isle of Britain. The first was that which went with Ur, the son of Erin, the Bellipotent of Scandinavia; and he came to this island in the time of Gadial the son of Erin, to solicit aid, under a condition that should not obtain from every principal fortress, a greater number than he should bring to it. To the first fortress he only came himself with a servant Mathata Vawr, and from there he obtained two, from the second four, from the third eight, from the next sixteen, and thus in like proportion from every other fortress, until that in the last the number could not be procured throughout the whole Island. He took with him 63,000, and he could not obtain a greater number of effective men in all the Island, and none but children and old men were left behind. And Ur the son of Erin the Bellipotent was the most complete levier that ever existed. It was through inadvertency that the tribe of the Cambrians gave him this permission under an irrevocable stipulation; and in consequence of this, the Coranians found an opportunity to make an easy invasion of this Island. Of the men who went, none ever returned, nor any of their progeny, nor descendants. They went on a warlike expedition as far as the sea of Greece, and remaining there in the land of Galas and Avena unto this day, they have become Greeks.
The second combined expedition was conducted by Caswallawn the son of Beli, and grandson of Manogan, and Gwenwynwyn and Gwanar, the sons of Lliaws, the son of Nwyvre and Arianrhod the daughter of Beli, their mother. Their origin was from the border declivity of Galedin and Siluria, and from the combined tribes of the Boulognese; and their numbers were three score and one thousand. They marched, with their Uncle Caswallawn, after the Caesareans, unto the land of the Gauls of Armorica, who were descended from the primitive stock of the Cambrians. And none of them, nor of their progeny, returned to this Island, for they settled in Gascony among the Caesareans, where they are at present; and it was in revenge of this expedition that the Caesareans came first into this Island.
The third combined expedition was marched out of this Island by Elen Bellipotent and Cynan her brother, lord of Meiriadog, to Armorica, where they obtained lands, power and sovereignty by the Emperor Maximus for supporting him against the Romans. These men were from the land of Meiriadog, Siluria, and from the land of Gwyr and Gorwennydd; and none of them returned again, but settled there in Ystre Gyvaelwg, where they formed a common-wealth. On account of this armed expedition, the tribe of the Cambrians became so deficient in armed men, that the Irish Picts invaded them; and therefore Vortigern was forced to invite the Saxons to expel the invasion. And the Saxons, observing the weakness of the Cambrians, treacherously turned their arms against them, and by combining with the Irish Picts and other traitors, they took possession of the lands of the Cambrians, and also their privileges and their crown.
These three combined expeditions are called the three Mighty Presumptions on the tribe of the Cambrians, and also the three Silver Armies, because they took away from the Island all gold and silver they could obtain by deceit, artifice and injustice, besides what they acquired by right and consent. They are also called the three Unwise Armaments, because they weakened the Island so much, that an opportunity was given for the three Mighty Invasions; namely the Coranians, the Caesareans, and the Saxons.
There were three mighty invasions of the Isle of Britain that united in one, and by this means the invaders took from the Cambrians their rank, their crown and their lands. The first was that of the Coranians, who united with the Caesareans until they became one. The second of the three were the Caesareans. The third were the Saxons, who united with the two others against the Cambrians. And God permitted this for the purpose of chastising the Cambrians for their three Mighty Presumptions, because they were carried into effect by injustice.
There were three primary tribes of the Cambrians: The Gwentians, or the Silurians; the Ordovices, including both the north Walians and Powysians; and the tribe of Pendaran of Dyved, including the people of Pembrokeshire, Gower and Cardiganshire. To each of these belongs a classical dialect of the Welsh language.
There were three monarchs by the verdict of the Isle of Britain. The first was Caswallawn the son of Lludd, son of Beli, son of Mynogan; the second was Caradog, son of Bran, son of Llyr Llediaith; and the third was Owain the son of Maximus. That is, sovereignty was conferred upon them by the verdict of the country and the nation, when they were not elders.
There were three holy families in the Isle of Britain. The first was the family of Bran the Blessed, ths son of Llyr Llediaith; for Bran was the first who brought the faith of Christ to this island from Rome. He was imprisoned through the treachery of Aregwedd Föeddawg, the daughter of Afarwy the son of Lludd. The second was the family of Cynedda Wledig, who first gave land and privilege to God and the saints in the Isle of Britain. The third was Brychan of Brecknockshire, who educated his children and grandchildren in learning and generosity, that they might be able to share the faith in Christ with the Cambrians, where they were without faith.
There were three benignant guests of the Isle of Britain: St. David, Padarn, and Teilaw. They were so called because they went as guests into the houses of the nobles, the yeomen, the native and the bondman, without accepting either gift or reward, food or drink; but they taught the faith in Christ to everyone without pay, or thanks, and to the poor and the destitute, they gave of their gold and their silver, their clothes and their provisions.
There were three treacherous meetings on the Isle of Britain. First, there was the meeting of Afarwy the son of Lludd, and the traitors with him, who gave place for the landing of the Romans on the narrow Green Point, and not more; and the consequences of which was, the gaining of the Island by the Romans. The second was the meeting of the Cambrian nobles and the Saxon Claimants upon Salisbury Plain, where the plot of the Long Knives took place through the treachery of Vortigern; for by his counsel, in league with the Saxons, nearly all the Cambrian nobility were slain. Third, the meeting of Medrawd and Iddawg Corn Prydein with their men of Nanhwynian, where they entered into a conspiracy against Arthur, and by this means strengthened the Saxon cause on the Isle of Britain.
There were three arrant traitors of the Isle of Britain. First Afarwy son of Lludd, son of Beli the Great, who invited Julius Caesar and the Romans into this island, and caused the invasion of the Romans. That is, he and his men gave themselves as guides for the Romans, and received a treasure of gold and silver from them every year. In consequence of this, the men of this Island were compelled to pay three thousand pieces of silver every year as a tribute to the Romans until the time of Owain the son of Maximus, who refused to pay the tribute. And under pretence of being content, the Romans drew from the Isle of Britain the most effective men who were capable of becoming soldiers, and marched them to Aravia and other far countries, from whence they never returned. The Romans who were in Britain went into Italy, and left only women and little children behind them; and, therefore, the Britons were so weakened, that they were not able to oppose invasion and conquest for want of men and strength.
The second was Vortigern, who murdered Constantine the Blessed, seized the crown of the island by violence and lawlessness, first invited the Saxons to the Island as his defenders, married Alis Ronwen, the daughter of Hengist, and gave the crown of Britain to the son he had by her, whose name was Gotta; and on this account, the kings of London are called children of Alis. Thus, on account of Vortigern, the Cambrians lost their lands, their rank and their crown in Lloegria.
The third was Medrawd the son of Llew, the son of Cynvarch: for when Arthur left the government of the Isle of Britain in his custody, whilst he marched against the Roman emperor, Medrawd took the crown from Arthur by usurpation and seduction; and in order to keep it, he confederated with the Saxons; and, on this account, the Cambrians lost the crown of Lloegria and the sovereignty of the Isle of Britain.
The three secret treasons of the Isle of Britain: First, the betraying of Caradog son of Bran, by Aregwedd Voeddawg, daughter of Afarwy, the son of Lludd, and delivering him up a captive to the Romans. Second, the betraying of Arthur by Iddawg Corn Prydein, who divulged his designs. And third, the betraying of Prince Llewelyn, son of Grufudd, by Madog Min. By these three treacheries the Cambrians were completely subdued; and nothing but treachery could have overcome them.
The three heroic sovereigns of the Isle of Britain: Cynfelyn Wledig, Caradog the son of Bran, and Arthur; because they conquered their enemies, and could not be overcome but by treachery and by plotting.
The three primary battle princes of the Isle of Britain: Caswallawn the son of Beli, Gweirydd the son of Cynfelyn Wledig, and Caradog, the son of Bran, son of Llyr Llediaith.
The three accomplished princes of the Isle of Britain: Rhun the son of Maelgwn; Owain, the son of Urien; and Rhuvon the Fair, son of Dewrath Wledig.
There were three plebeian princes in the Isle of Britain: Gwrgai, son of Gwrien in the North; Cadavael son of Cynvedw in North Wales; and Hyvaidd the Tall son of St. Bleiddan, in Glenmorgan. That is to say, sovereignty was granted them on account of their heroic actions, and virtuous qualities.
The three banded families of the Isle of Britain: the family of Caswallawn with the Long Hand; the family of Rhiwallon, son of Urien; and the family of Belyn of Lleyn. They were so called, because they were not subjected to either head, or sovereign, as it respected the ranks of their families and power, but owed submission only to the voice of the country and the nation.
The three golden-banded ones of the Isle of Britain: Rhiwallon with the Broom Hair; Rhun, the son of Maelgwn; and Cadwaladyr the Blessed. That is, they were permitted to wear golden bands about their arms, their necks and their knees; and with these were granted the privilege of royalty in every country and dominion in the Isle of Britain.
The three battle-knights of the sovereign of the Isle of Britain: Caradog with the brawny arm; Llyr the Bellipotent; and Mael, the son of Manwaed, of Arllechwedd. And with reference to these, Arthur composed the following lines:
- These are my three battle knights,
Mael the Tall, and Llyr the Bellipotent,
And Caradog the pillar of the Cambrians.
That is to say, they were the bravest heroes of all battle-knights, and therefore royalty was granted them, and what they wished of power; and their courtesy was such, that they would do nothing but what was judicious and right, in whatever country they came.
The three generous princes of the Isle of Britain: Rhydderch the generous, son of Tudwal Tudclud; Mordav the generous, son of Servan; and Nudd the Generous, son of Senyllt. Their courteous dispositions were such, that they did not fail to grant any thing whatever to any person who solicited it of them, if they had it in their possession, or could obtain it by gift, loan, or present, whether the applicants were friends or foes, relatives or strangers.
The three blood-stained ones of the Isle of Britain: Arthur, Morgan the Greatly Courteous, and Rhun, the son of Beli. When they marched to war, no one could stay at home, so greatly were they beloved; and in every war and battle, they were victorious, where there were neither treachery, nor ambush. Hence rose the proverb: "There were three heroes who obtained men wherever they marched: Arthur, Morgan the Greatly Courteous, and Rhun the son of Beli; and there were three armies who obtained soldiers wherever they marched; the soldiers of Arthur, the soldiers of Morgan the Greatly Courteous, and the troops of Rhun, the son of Beli."
The three resolute minded ovates of the Isle of Britain: Greidiawl the resolute minded ovate, Envael the son of Adran, and Trystan, the son of Tallwch; for they had the privilege of going wherever they wished in the Isle of Britain without opposition, unless they went unlawfully.
The three obstructors of slaughter of the Isle of Britain: Grudnew, Henben, and Eidnew. Their principle was, not to retreat from battle and conflict, but upon their biers, after they were unable to move either hand or foot.
The three conventional monarchs of the Isle of Britain. The first was Prydein, son of Aedd the Great, when there was established a discriminating sovereignty over the Isle of Britain, and its adjacent islands; second, Caradog, the son of Bran, when he was elected Generalissimo of all the Island of Britain to oppose the incursions of the Romans; and Owain, the son of Macsen Wledig, when the Cambrians resumed the sovereignty from the Roman emperor, according to the rights of the nation. These were called the three conventional sovereigns, because they were raised to the dignity by the conventions of the country and the bordering country, within all the limits of the nation of the Cambrians, by holding a convention in every district, commot and hundred in the Isle of Britain and its adjacent islands.
The three blessed princes of the Isle of Britain. The first was Bran the Blessed, the son of Llyr Llediaith, who first brought the faith of Christ to the Cambrians where he had been seven years as a hostage for his son Caradog, whom the Romans put in prison, after being betrayed through the enticement, deceit and plotting of Aregwedd Fôeddawg. Second, Lleirwg, son of Coel, son of St. Cyllin, and called Lleufer the Great, who built the first church in Llandav, which was the first in the Isle of Britain, and who gave the privilege of the country and tribe, with civil and ecclesiastical rights, to those who professed faith in Christ. The third was Cadwaladr the Blessed, who gave protection, within his lands and within all his possessions, to those who fled from the infidel and lawless Saxons who wished to murder them.
Three system formers of royalty of the Isle of Britain: Prydein the son of Aedd the Great, Dyvynwal Moelmud, and Bran the son of Llyr Llediaith. That is, their systems were the best systems of royalty of the Isle of Britain, and they were judged superior to all other systems which were formed in the Isle of Britain.
The three disgraceful drunkards on the Isle of Britain: First, Ceraint, the drunken king of Siluria, who in drunkenness burned all the corn far and near over all the country, so that a famine for bread arose. Second, Vortigern, who in his drink gave the Isle of Thanet to Horsa that he might commit adultery with Rowena his daughter, and who also gave a claim to the son that he had by her to the crown of Lloegria; and added to these, treachery and plotting against the Cambrians. Third, the drunken Seithynin, son of Seithyn Saida king of Dimetia, who in his drunkenness let the sea over the hundred of Gwaelod so that all the houses and land which were there, were lost; where before that event sixteen fortified towns were reckoned there, superior to all the towns and fortifications in Cambria, with the exception of Caerllion upon Usk. The hundred of Gwaelod was a dominion of Gwydnaw Garanhir, king of Cardigan. This event happened in the time of Ambrosius. The people who escaped from the inundation landed in Ardudwy, in the country of Arvon, and the mountains of Snowdon, and other places, which had not been inhabited before that period.
The three humble princes of the Isle of Britain: Manawydan son of Llyr Llediaith, after Bran the son of Llyr, his brother, was carried into captivity; Llywarch the Aged, son of Elidir, Llydanwyn; and Gwgon the hero, the son of Eleuver with the Mighty Retinue. These three were bards; and after they had attached themselves to song, they sought not for dominion and royalty, but no one could debar them from it. On this account, they were called the three humble princes of the Isle of Britain.
The three chiefs of Deira and Bernicia: Gall the son of Dysgyvedog, Difedel the son of Dysgyvedog; and Ysgavnnel the son of Dysgyvedog. These three were the sons of bards, and after they had attached themselves to song, the sovereignty, the sovereignty of Deira and Bernicia was bestowed upon them.
The three bards of the Isle of Britain who tinged spears with blood: Tristvardd, son of Urien Rheged; Dygynnelw the bard of Owain son of Urien; and Avan Verddig, bard of Cadwallon son of Cadvan. These three were sons of bards, and they could not be separated.
The three supreme servants of the Isle of Britain: Caradog, the son of Bran, the son of Llyr Llediath; Cawrdav, the son of Caradog with the Brawny Arm; and Owain, the son of Macsen Wledig. They were so called because all the men of the Isle of Britain, from the prince to the peasant, became their followers at the need of the country, on account of the invasions and tyranny of the foe. And wherever these three marched to war, there was not a man on the Isle of Britain but who would join their armies, and would not stay at home. And these three were the sons of bards.
The three fetter-wearing kings of the Isle of Britain: Morgan the Greatly Courteous, of Glamorgan; Elystan Glodrydd, between the Wye and the Severn; and Gwaithvoed, King of Cardigan. They were so called because they wore fetters in all their primary functions of royalty in the Isle of Britain instead of frontlets or crowns.
The three frontlet-wearing kings of the Isle of Britain: Cadell, King of Dinevor; Anarawd, King of Aberfraw; and Mervin, King of Mathravael. They were also called the three frontlet-wearing princes.
The three foreign kings of the Isle of Britain: Gwrddyled of the Conflict; Morien with the Beard; and Constantine the Blessed.
The three disgraceful traitors who enabled the Saxons to take the crown of the Isle of Britain from the Cambrians: The first was Gwrgi Garwlwyd, who after tasting human flesh in the court of Edlfled the Saxon king, became so fond of it that he would eat no other but human flesh ever after. In consequence of this, he and his men united with Edlfled king of the Saxons; and he made secret incursions upon the Cambrians, and brought a young male and female whom he daily ate. And all the lawless men of the Cambrians flocked to him and the Saxons, for they obtained their full of prey and spoil taken from the natives of this Isle. The second was Medrod, who with his men united with the Saxons, that he might secure the kingdom to himself, against Arthur; and in consequence of that treachery many of the Lloegrians became as Saxons. Third was Aeddan, the traitor of the North, who with his men made submission to the power of the Saxons, so that they might be able to support themselves by confusion and pillage under the protection of the Saxons. On account of these three traitors the Cambrians lost their land and their crown in Lloegria; and if it had not been for such treasons, the Saxons could not have gained the Island from the Cambrians.
The three bards who committed the three beneficial assassinations of the Isle of Britain: The first was Gall, son of Dysgyvedawg, who killed the two brown birds of Gwendolleu, the son of Ceidiaw, that had a yoke of gold about him, and that daily devoured two bodies of the Cambrians for their dinner and two for their supper. The second was Ysgavnell, the son of Dysgyvedawg, who killed Edlfled king of Lloegria, who required every night two noble maids of the Cambrian nation, and violated them, and every morning he killed and devoured them. The third was Difidel, the son of Dysgyvedawg, who killed Gwrgi Garwlylwyd, that had married Edlfled's sister, and committed treachery and murder in conjunction with Edlfled upon the Cambrians. And this Gwrgi killed a Cambrian male and female every day and devoured them, and on the Saturday he killed two males and two females, that he might not kill on the Sunday. And these three persons, who performed these beneficial assassinations, were bards.
The three infamous assassinations of the Isle of Britain: The assassination of Aneurin of flowing muse and monarch of the bards, by Eiddin the son of Einygan; the assassination of Avaon, the son of Taliesin, by Llawgad Trwm Bargawd; and the assassination of Urien, the son of Cynvarch, by Llovan Llaw Dino. They were three bards who were assassinated by these three men.
The three infamous blows with the axe of the Isle of Britain: the axe-blow of Eiddin, the son of Einygan, on the head of Aneurin of flowing muse; the axe-blow of Cadavael the Wild, on the head of Jago, the son of Beli; and the axe-blow upon the head of Golyddan the bard, because of the stroke which he gave Cadwaladyr the Blessed with the palm of his hand.
The three fatal slaps of the Isle of Britain: the slap of Matholwch the Irishman, on Bronwen the daughter of Llyr; the slap which Gwenhwyvach gave Gwenhwyvar, and which caused the battle of Camlan; and the slap which Golyddan the bard gave Cadwaladyr the Blessed.
The three frivolous causes of battle in the Isle of Britain. The first was the battle of Goddeu, which was caused about a bitch, a roe-buck and a lapwing; and in that battle 71,000 men were slain. The second was the action of Arderydd, caused by a bird’s nest, in which 80,000 Cambrians were slain. The third was the battle of Camlan, between Arthur and Medrod, where Arthur was slain with 100,000 of the choice men of the Cambrians. On account of these three foolish battles, the Saxons took the country of Lloegria from the Cambrians, because there was not a sufficient number of warriors left to oppose the Saxons, the treachery of Gwrgi Garwlwyd, and the deception of Eiddelic the dwarf.
The three fatal counsels of the Isle of Britain: First, the giving of permission to Julius Caesar and the Romans with him, to have a place for the hoofs of their horses in the cave of the verdant edge in the Isle of Thanet, because by this the Caesarians obtained a landing place to take possesson of the Isle of Britain, and to form a junction with the traitor Afarwy the son of Lludd. Such permission was granted to the Caesarians because the Cambrians thought it contemptible to defend their country otherwise than through strength of arms, heroism, and the bravery of the people, where they had no suspicion of the treachery of Afarwy, the son of Lludd, with the Romans. The second fatal counsel was that of permitting Horsa, Hengist and Rowena to return to the Isle of Britain, after they were driven over the sea to the country from whence they originated. The third was to suffer Arthur to divide his men with Medrawd three times in the battle of Camlan, and through which Arthur lost the victory and his life, where Medrawd was united with the Saxons.
The three tremendous slaughters of the Isle of Britain: The first, when Medrawd went to Galliwig, he did not leave in the court meat and drink to support a fly, but consumed and wasted it all; and he pulled Gwenhwyvar from her throne, and committed adultery with her. The second was, when Arthur went to the court of Medrawd, he left neither meat nor drink that he did not destroy; and killed everything in the hundred, both man and beast. The third was, when the traitorous Aeddan went to the court of Rhydderch the Generous, he destroyed all the meat and drink in the court, without leaving as much as would feed a fly; and he did not leave either man or beast alive, but destroyed the whole. These were called the three dreadful slaughters because the Cambrians were compelled, according to law and custom, to answer and redress for what was done in that irregular, unusual, and lawless manner.
The three concealments and disclosures of the Isle of Britain. The first was the head of Bran the Blessed, the son of Llyr, that Owain the son of Ambrosius had concealed in the white hill in London; and while it remained in that state, no injury could happen to this Island. The second were the bones of Gwrthevyr the Blessed, which were buried in the principal ports of the Island, and while they remained there, no molestation could happen to this Island. The third were the dragons which were concealrd by Lludd the son of Beli in the fortress of Pharaon among the rocks of Snowdon. And these three concealments were placed under the protection of God and his attributes, so that misery should fall upon the hour and the person who should disclose them. Vortigern revealed the dragons out of revenge for the opposition of the Cambrians towards him, and he invited the Saxons under the semblance of auxiliaries to fight with the Irish Picts; and after that, he revealed the bones of Gwrthevyr the Blessed out of love for Rowena the daughter of Hengist the Saxon. And Arthur revealed the head of Bran the Blessed, the son of Llyr, because he scorned to keep the Island but by his own might; and after these three disclosures, the invaders obtained the superiority over the Cambrian nation.
The three over-ruling counter energies of the Isle of Britain: Hu the Mighty, who brought the Cambrian nation from the Summer Country, called Defrobani, unto the Isle of Britain; Prydein, the son of Aedd the Great, who organized the nation and established a jury over the Isle of Britain; and Rhitta Gawr, who made a robe for himself of the beards of those kings whom he made captives, on account of their oppression and lawlessness.
The three beneficial harassers of the Isle of Britain: Prydein, the son of Aedd the Great, harassing the dragon of oppression, which was the oppression of pillage and lawlessness, engendered in the Isle of Britain; Caradog, the son of Bran, the son of Llyr, harassing the Roman invaders; and Rhitta Gawr, harassing the oppression and pillaging of dissolute kings.
The three benefactors of the Cambrian nation. First, Hu the Mighty, who first taught the Cambrians the way to plough, when they were in the Summer Country, before they came to the Isle of Britain. Second, Coll, the son of Collvrewi, who first brought wheat and barley to the Isle of Britain, for before that time there were nothing but oats and rye. Third, Elldud, the holy knight of Theodosius, who improvised the mode of ploughing land and taught the Cambrians better than was known before, and he gave them the system and art of cultivating lands as is used at present; for before that time land was cultivated only with the mattock and over-tread plough, after the manner of the Irish.
The three primary inventors of the Cambrians. Hu the Mighty, who formed the first mote and retinue over the nation of Cambria; Dyvnwal Moelmud, who made the first regulations of the laws, privileges and customs of the country and tribe; and Tydain, the father of poetic genius who made the first order and regulation for the record and memorial of vocal song, and that which appertains to it. From this system, the privileges and organised customs, respecting the bards and bardism in the Isle of Britain, were first formed.
The three primary bards of the Isle of Britain: Plennydd, Alawn, and Gwron. That is, these formed the privileges and customs that appertain to bards and bardism, and therefore they are called the three primary bards. Nevertheless, there were bards and bardism prior to them, but they had not a licensed system, and they had neither privileges nor customs otherwise than what they obtained through kindness and civility, under the protection of the nation and the people, before the time of these three. (Some say that these lived in the time of Prydein, the son of Aedd the Great, but others affirm that they flourished in the time of Dyvnwal Moelmud's son; and this information they derive from ancient manuscripts which are entitled "Dyvnwarth the son of Prydein".)
The three beneficial sovereigns of the Isle of Britain: First, Prydein, the son of Aedd the Great, who first formed a system of citizenship of the country and tribe, and the organisation of the country and the bordering country in the Isle of Britain. Second, Dyvnwal Moelmud, who improved and extended the institutes, laws, privileges and customs of the Cambrian nation, so that equity and justice might be obtained by all in the Isle of Britain, under the protection of God and his tranquillity, and under the protection of the country and tribe. Third, Howel the Good, son of Cadell, and grandson of Rhodri the Great, king of all Cambria, who improved the laws of the Isle of Britain, as the changes and circumstances which occurred among the Cambrians demanded, lest what was good might be effaced, and lest what was excellent might not succeed it, according to the conditions and effect of the organisation of the Cambrians. And these three men were the best of legislators.
The three vigorous ones of the Isle of Britain: Gwrnerth the sharp shot, who killed the greatest bear that was ever seen with a straw arrow; Gwgawn with the mighty hand, who rolled the stone of Maenarch from the valley to the summit of the mountain, and which required sixty oxen to draw it there; and Eidiol the Mighty, who, in the plot of Stonehenge, killed six hundred and sixty Saxons with a billet of the service tree, between sun-set and dark.
The three royal families that were conducted to prison from the great great grandfather to the great grandchildren, without permitting one of them to escape. First, the family of Llyr Llediaiath, who were put into prison in Rome, by the Caesarians. Second, the family of Madawg son of Medron, who were imprisoned in Alban, by the Irish Picts. Third, the family of Gair son of Geirion, who were imprisoned in Oeth and Anoeth, by the verdict of the country and tribe. Not one of these escaped; and it was the most complete incarceration that was ever known, with respect to these families.
The three archbishopricks of the Isle of Britain. First, Llandav, through the favour of Lleirwg son of Coel and grandson of Cyllin, who first gave lands and the privilege of the country to those who first dedicate themselves to the faith in Christ. Second, York, through favour of the emperor Constantine; for he was the first of the Roman emperors who embraced the Christian religion. The third was London, through favour of the emperor Maximus. Afterwards there were Caerllion upon Usk, Celliwig in Cornwall, and Edinburgh in the North; and now there are St. David’s, York and Canterbury.
The three supreme thrones of the Isle of Britain: first, London; second, Caerllion upon Usk; and third, York.
The three tribes of the throne of the Isle of Britain. The first is Caerllion upon Usk; and there Arthur has supreme authority, St. David son of Cunedda Wledig being chief bishop, and Maelgwyn of North Wales being chief elder. Second, Celliwig in Cornwall, and there Arthur has supreme authority, Bedwini being chief bishop, and Caradawg with the Brawny Arm chief elder. Third, Edinburgh in the North; and there Arthur has supreme authority, Cyndeyrn Garthwys being chief bishop, and Gwrthmwl Wledig chief elder.
The three privileged ports of the Isle of Britain: Newport in Monmouthshire, Beaumaris in Anglesea, and Gwyddnaw in Cardiganshire.
The three most noted rivers of the Isle of Britain: the Severn in Cambria, the Thames in Lloegria, and the Humber in Deira and Bernicia.
The three primary Islands attached to the Isle of Britain: Orkney, Man and Wight. At a subsequent period the sea broke through the land, and Anglesea became an Island; and in a like manner the Orkney Isle was broken, and many Islands were formed in consequence, and other parts of Scotland and Cambria became Islands.
The three fleet-owners of the Isle of Britain: Geraint the son of Erbin; Gwenwynwyn the son of Nav; and March the son of Meirchion. Each of these admirals had one hundred and twenty ships, and one hundred and twenty sailors in each ship.
The three frontlet ones of the battle of the Isle of Britain: Trystan, son of Tallwch; Huail, son of Caw of Prydyn, lord of the vale of Cawlwyd; and Cai, son of Cynyr with the Shining Beard. And there was one frontlet wearer above the other three, who was Bedwyr, the son of Pedrawg.
The three naturalists of the Isle of Britain: Gwalchmai the son of Gwyar; Llecheu son of Arthur; and Rhiwallon of the Broom-brush-hair; and there was nothing of which they did not know its material essence, and its property, whether of kind, quality, compound, coincidence, tendency, nature, or of essence, whatever it might be.
The three pillars of the battle of the Isle of Britain: Dunawd Fur son of Pabo the Pillar of Britain; Gwallawg son of Lleenawg; and Cynvelyn the Stumbler. That is, they understood the order and necessary arrangements for battle better than any others that ever existed.
The three bulls of battle of the Isle of Britain: Cynvar Cadgadawg son of Cynwyd Cynwydion; Gwendolleu son of Ceidaw; and Urien son of Cynvarch; because they rushed upon their foes like bulls, and it was not possible to avoid them.
The three bull princes of the Isle of Britain: Elmur the adopted son of Cibddar; Cynhavel son of Argad; and Avaon son of Taliesin, chief of the bards. These three were bards; and they dreaded nothing in battle and conflict, but rushed forward, regardless of death.
The three arrogant ones of the Isle of Britain: Sawyl the lofty headed; Pasgen the son of Urien; and Rhun the son of Einiawn. Their arrogance was most arrogant above every other arrogant thing, by means of which they brought anarchy in the Isle of Britain; and those who were influenced by this anarchy, united with the Saxons, and finally became Saxons.
The three strong crutched ones of the Isle of Britain: Rhineri the son of Tangwn; Tinwaed the crutched; and Pryderi son of Doler of Deira and Bernicia.
The three grave slaughterers of the Isle of Britain: Selyv son of Cynan Garwyn; Avaon son of Taliesin; and Gwallawg son of Lleenawg. They were called grave slaughterers because they were able to avenge their wrongs from their graves.
The three golden-corpses of the Isle of Britain: Madawg the son of Brwyn; Ceugant Beilliawg; and Rhuvon the Fair, son of Gwyddnaw Garanhir. They are so called because their weight in gold was given to deliver them from those who slew them.
The three forward ones of the Isle of Britain: Eiddilic the dwarf; Trystan the son of Tallwch; and Gweirwerydd the Great; because nothing could divert them from their designs.
The Three generous hosts of the Isle of Britain: the host of Belyn son of Cynvelyn, in the warfare of Caradawg ap Bran; the host of Mynyddawg Eiddin in the battle of Cattraeth; and the host of Drywon son of Nudd the Generous, in the defile of Arderydd in the North. That is, every one marched at his own expense, without waiting to be summoned, and without demanding either pay or reward of the country, or the prince; and because of this they were called the three generous hosts.
The three loyal tribes of the Isle of Britain. The tribe of Cadwallawn the adopted son of Cadvan, who were with him seven years in Ireland, and during that time they demanded neither pay, nor reward, lest they be obliged to leave him, and he should not be able to make the compensation to which they were entitled. Second, the tribe of Gavran son of Aeddan, when the loss by disappearance took place, who went to sea in search of their lord. Third, the family of Gwendolleu son of Ceidiaw, who maintained the battle for forty six days after their lord was slain. The number of each of the tribes was twenty one hundred heroic men, and so great was their courage that they could not be vanquished.
The three disloyal tribes of the Isle of Britain. The tribe of Goronwy the Fair from Penllyn, who refused to stand instead of their lord to receive the poisoned javelin from Llew Llaw Gyfes by the Stone of Goronwy before Cynvel, in Ardudwy. Second, the tribe of Gwrgi and Peredur who deserted their lords in the fortress of Crau, where there was an appointment for battle the next morning with Ida the Great Knee, and they were both slain. The third were the tribe of Alan Morgan, who returned back from their lord by stealth, leaving him and his servants to march to Camlan, where he was slain.
Three things that caused the reduction of Lloegria and wrested it from the Cambrianss: the harbouring of strangers, the liberating of prisoners, and the present of the Bald Man.
The three men who escaped from the battle of Camlan: Morvran son of Tegid who, being so ugly, everyone thought he was the devil from hell and fled before him; Sandde Angel-aspect, who having so fine a shape, so beautiful, and so lovely, that no one raised an arm against him, thinking that he was an angel from heaven; and Glewlwyd with the Mighty Grasp, for so large was his size and mighty his strength, that no one could stand before him, and every one fled at his approach. These are the three men who escaped from the battle of Camlan.
The three perpetual choirs of the Isle of Britain: the choir of Llan Illtyd Vawr, Glamorganshire; the Choir of Ambrosius in Ambresbury; and the choir of Glastonbury. In each of these three choirs there were 2,400 saints; that is, there were a hundred for every hour of the day and the night in rotation, perpetuating the praise and service of God without rest or intermission.
The three shepherd retinues of the Isle of Britain: Benren the herdsman in Gorwennydd, who kept the herd of Caradawg son of Bran and his retinue, and in which herd there were 21,000 milch cows. Second, Gwydion son of Dôn, who kept the cattle of the tribe of North Wales above the Conway, and in that herd were 21,000. Third, Llawvrodedd the knight, who tended the cattle of Nudd the Generous, son of Senyllt, and in that herd were 21,000 milch cows.
The three roving fleets of the Isle of Britain: the fleet of Llawr son of Eidriv; the fleet of Divwg son of Alban; and the fleet of Dolor son of Mwrchath, king of Manaw.
The three chief cities of the Isle of Britain: Caerllion upon Usk in Cambria; London in Lloegria; and York in Deira and Bernica.
The three mighty achievements of the Isle of Britain: raising the stone of Ceti; erecting Stonehenge; and heaping the pile of Cyvrangon.
The three renowned astronomers of the Isle of Britain: Idris the giant; Gwydion son of Dôn; and Gwyn son of Nudd. Such was their knowledge of the stars, their natures and qualities, that they could prognosticate whatever was wished to be known until the day of doom.
The three illusive and half-apparent men of the Isle of Britain: Math son of Mathonwy, who showed his illusion to Gwydion son of Dôn; Menw the son of Teirgwaedd, who revealed his secret to Uthyr Pendragon; and Rhuddlwm the giant, who revealed his secret to Eiddilic the dwarf, and Coll son of Collvrewi.
The three beneficial artisans of the Isle of Britain: Corvinwr the bard of Ceri of the long white lake, who first made a ship with sail and rudder for the Cambrian nation; Morddal the man of the white torrent, the artist of Ceraint son of Greidiawl, who first taught the Cambrians to work with stone and lime (at the time the emperor Alexander was subduing the world); and Coel son of Cyllin, grandson of Caradog, and great grandson of Bran, who first made a mill of round and wheel for the Cambrians; and these three were bards.
The three inventors of song and record of the Cambrian nation: Gwyddon Ganhebon, who was the first in the world that composed vocal song; Hu the Mighty, who first applied vocal song to strengthen memory and record; and Tydain the father of poetic genius, who first conferred art on poetic song and made it the medium of record. From what was done by these three men, originated bards and bardism, and the privilege and institutes of these things were organised by the primary bards, Plennyd, Arawn, and Gwron.
The three primary youth-trainers of the Isle of Britain: Tydain the father of poetic genius; Menw the Aged; and Gwrhir bard of Teilaw in Llandav; and these three were bards.
The three monster bulls of the Isle of Britain: the monster of Gwidawl; the monster of Llyr Merini; and the monster of Gwrthmwl Wledig.
The three wild monsters of the Isle of Britain: the monster of Bannawg; the monster of Melan; and the monster of Ednyvedawg Drythyll.
The three viragoes of the Isle of Britain: Llewei daughter of Seithwedd Saidi; Mederai daughter of Padellvawr; and Rhorei the Great, daughter of Usber Galed.
The three primary and extraordinary works of the Isle of Britain: the ship of Nwydd Nav Neivion, which brought in it a male and female of all living things when the lake of floods burst forth; the large horned oxen of Hu the Mighty, that drew the crocodile from the lake to the land, so that the lake did not burst any more; and the stone of Gwyddon Ganhebon, upon which all the arts and sciences in the world are engraved.
The three happy youth-trainers of the Isle of Britain: Catwg son of Gwynlliw in Llangarvan; Madawg Morvryn in the choir of Illtyd; and Deiniol Wyn in North Wales. These three were bards.
The three shepherds of the tribes of the Isle of Britain: Colwyn the shepherd of the tribe of Bran, son of Llyr Llediaith, in Glamorgan; Pybydd the Bald, shepherd of the tribe of Tegerin of the family of Llwydiarth in Anglesea; and Gwessin the shepherd of the tribe of Goronwy son of Ednywain king of Tegeingl in Rhyvoniog, and his name was called Gwesyn because he tended sheep. The numbers tended by each of these men was 120,000 and each had under him three hundred slaves in the protection of the Cambrian nation.
The three men who exposed themselves and their progeny to disgrace and loss of privilege, so that they could never recover the rank but that of bondman. The first was Mandubratius (Afarwy) son of Lludd, who first invited the Romans to this Island, with the army of Julius Caesar their commander, and who gave them land in the Isle of Thanet. The second was Vortgern, who first invited the Saxons to this island that they might support him in his tyranny, and who gave them land in the Isle of Thanet, and misery came upon him for giving landed property in this Island to strangers. He married Rowena the daughter of Horsa, and the son he obtained by marriage he called Gotta; and he gave him the usurped rank of the monarchy of the Isle of Britain. On this account the Cambrians lost the monarchy of the Isle of Britain. The third was Medrawd son of Llew, son of Cynvarch, who obtained the sovereignty of the Isle of Britain in trust, while Arthur fought the Romans beyond the Alps, because they wished to invade this Island again; and there Arthur lost the flower of his troops. When Medrawd heard of the circumstances, he united with the Saxons, and caused the battle of Camlan, where Arthur and all his men were slain, three excepted. Upon this, the Saxons violently usurped the sovereignty of the Isle of Britain, and murdered and cruelly used every person of the Cambrian nation who would not join them; and all those of the nation who desired to oppose the Saxon invasions, obtained only the country of Cambria. The Romans also confirmed the privilege and the lands to the Saxons, as if the invading nation were forming a close alliance with the other, until the Romans were visited in such a manner, that envy burnt their possessions and the black intrusion came upon themselves.
The three powerful swineherds of the Isle of Britain: the first was Pryderi son of Pwyll Pendaran of Dyved, who kept his father’s swine whilst he was yet in Annwn; and he kept them in the vale of Cwch in Emlyn. The second was Coll son of Collvrewi, who kept the sow of Dallwaran Dalben that came burrowing as far as Penrhyn Penwedig in Cornwall; and then going on the sea, she came to land at Aber Tarogi in Gwent Iscoed. And Coll son of Collvrewi kept his hand in her bristles wherever she went, whether by land or sea. And in Maes Gwenith, in Gwent, she deposited three grains of wheat and three bees, and on that account the best wheat and honey are in Gwent. From Gwent she proceeded to Dyved and deposited a grain of barley and a little pig at Llonio Llonwen; and on this account the best barley and swine are reared in Dyved. After this she proceeded to Arvon, and deposited a grain of rye in Lleyn; and therefore the best rye is raised in Lleyn and Eivionydd. Upon the skirt of Rhiwgyverthwch she deposited a wolf’s cub and a young eaglet, and Coll gave the eagle to Brynach the Irishman, and he gave the wolf to Menwaed lord of Arllechwedd; and was there much talk about the wolf of Brynach and the eagle of Menwaed. From there she went to Maen Du in Arvon where she deposited a kitten, and Coll son of Collvrewi threw it into the Menai; and this was the glossy smooth cat (Palug’s Cat) that became a molestation to the Isle of Anglesea. The third was Trystan son of Tallwch who kept the swine of March son of Meirchion, whilst the swineherd went on a message to Essyllt to desire an interview with her. And Arthur, Marchell, Cai, and Bedwyr were the four who looked for an opportunity, but they could not obtain so much as one pig either by gift, purchase, deceit, violence or theft. They were, therefore, called the three powerful swineherds, because it was not possible to gain or prevail over them for one swine which they kept; for they restored them with their full increase to their owners.
The three amorous ones of the Isle of Britain. The first was Caswallawn son of Beli, for Flur, ab Mygnach the dwarf, and he went for her as far as the land of Gascony against the Romans, and he brought her away, and killed 6,000 Caesarians; and in revenge the Romans invaded this Island. The second was Trystan son of Tallwch, for Essyllt daughter of March son of Meirchion his uncle. The third was Cynon, for Morvydd daughter of Urien Rheged.
The three chaste maids of the Isle of Britain: Trywyl daughter of Llynghesawl with the generous hand; Gwenvron daughter of Tudwal Tudclud; and Tegau Eurvron, who was one of the three beauteous dames in the court of Arthur.
The three chaste wives of the Isle of Britain: Arddun, wife of Catgor and son of Collwyn; Eviliau, wife of Gwydyr Trwm; and Emerched, wife of Mabon and son of Dewain the Aged.
The three unchaste wives of the Isle of Britain were the three daughters of Culvynawyd Prydein. The first was Essyllt Vyngwen the mistress of Trystan son of Tallwch; the second was Penarwen, wife of Owain son of Urien; and the third was Bun, wife of Ida the flame-bearer.
The three sprightly maids of the Isle of Britain: Anghared Tonvelen daughter of Rhydderch the Generous; Anan daughter of Maig Mygedwas; and Perwyr daughter of Rhun Ryseddvawr.
The three beautiful maids of the Isle of Britain: Gwen daughter of Cywryd son of Crydon; Creirwy daughter of Ceridwen; and Arianrod daughter of Dôn.
The three beautiful ladies of the court of Arthur: Dyvir with the golden coloured hair; Enid daughter of Yniwl, the earl; and Tegau Eurvron. These were the three excellent ladies of Arthur’s court.
The three wives of Arthur, who were his three chief ladies: Gwenhwyvar daughter of Gwythyr and son of Greidiawl; Gwenhwyvar daughter of Gawrwyd Ceint; and Gwenhwyvar daughter of Ogyrvan Gawr.
The three chief mistresses of Arthur: the first was Garwen daughter of Henyn of Tegyrn Gwyr and Ystrad Tywy; Gwyl daughter of Eutaw of Caerworgorn; and Indeg daughter of Avarwy the Tall of Radnorshire.
The three chief courts of Arthur: Caerllion upon Usk in Cambria; Celliwig in Cornwall; and Edinburgh in the North. These were the three at which he kept the three chief festivals; that is to say Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide.
The three free guests having origin in the court of Arthur: Llywarch Hen son of Elidir Lydanwyn; Lemonening; and Heiddyn the Tall; and these three were bards.
The three compeers of the court of Arthur: Dalldav son of Cynin Cov; Trystan son of March son of Meirchion; and Rhyhawd son of Morgant son of Adras.
The three princes of the court of Arthur were Goronwy son of Echel of Vorddwydtwll; Cadraith, son of Porthor Godo; Vleidur Vlam son of Godo. That is to say, they were princes possessing territory and dominion, but not withstanding this, they prefered remaining as knights in Arthur's court, judging that to be superior to all honour and dignity; and they went by the name of the three just knights.
The three golden-tongued knights of Arthur's court: Gwalchmai son of Gwyar; Drudwas son of Tryphin; and Eliwlod son of Madog son of Uthur. They were the wisest of all the wise of their time; and so fair and gentlemanly was their deportment, and so mellifluous and eloquent in all their addresses, that no one could refuse to grant them what they desired.
The three wise counselling knights of Arthur's court: Cynon son of Clydno Eiddin; Arawn son of Cynvarch; and Llywarch Hen son of Elidir Lydanwyn. Prosperity always followed their counsels, if they were attended to, and misfortune happened wherever their counsels were neglected.
The three just dispensing knights of Arthur's court: Blas son of the Prince of Llychlyn; Cadawg son of Gwynlliw the warrior; and Padrogyl the spear-splinterer, son of the King of India. The dispositions of these were to defend all feeble ones, orphans, widows, virgins, and all who had placed themselves under the protection of God and his tranquillity, and all the poor and weak, without exception, and to save them from violence, injury and oppression: Blas by the common law; Padrogyl by the law of arms; and Cadawg by the law of the church and the ordinances of God. And they acted neither from respect, nor fear, nor from love, nor hatred, nor from passion, nor from complaisance, nor from anger, nor from mercy of any kind, but only because it was just and right, according to the law of God, the nature of goodness, and the demands of justice.
The three kingly knights of Arthur's court: Morgan the Greatly Courteous son of Adras; Medrawd son of Llew son of Cynvarch; and Howel son of Emyr of Amorica. It was their disposition to be so placid and mild, and pure in their discourse, that it was difficult for any person to refuse what they wanted.
The three lovely knights of King Arthur's court: the best towards every guest and stranger: Gwalchmai son of Gwyar; Garwy son of Geraint son of Erbin; and Cadeir the adopted son of Seithin Saidai. And no one could be denied what he sought from their courtesy, and so great was their generosity towards every person, that what they gained was the same as if a friend had obtained it on account of real friendship.
The three privileged knights of Arthur's court: Eithew son of Gwrgawn; Colledawg son of Gwyn; and Geraint the Tall son of Cymmamon the Aged. They were plebeians, and the sons of vassals; but their word and their disposition for honesty, urbanity, gentleness, wisdom, bravery, justice, mercy, and every praiseworthy quality and science, either in peace, or in war, were so good, that the court of Arthur and its privileges were free for them.
The three knights of Arthur's court who guarded the Greal: Cadawg son of Gwynlliw; Illtud the sainted knight; and Perdur son of Evrawg.
The three continual knights of Arthur's court: Cadawg son of Gwynlliw; Illtud the knight; and Bwrt son of Bwrt king of Llychlyn. That is, not one of them would commit and carnal sin, nor would they form any matrimonial connection, nor have any connections with women, but chose to live as bachelors and to conduct themselves by the law of God and the Christian faith.
The three vain bards of the Isle of Britain: the first was Arthur; the second was Cadwallawn son of Cadvan; the third was Rhyhawd the adopted son of Morgant of Glamorgan.
The three golden shoe-wearers of the Isle of Britain: Caswallawn son of Beli, when he went into Gascony to obtain Flur the daughter of Mygnach the Dwarf, who had been taken there clandestinely to the emperor Caesar by the person called Mwrchan the Thief, king of that country, and the friend of Julius Caesar; and Caswallawn brought her back again to the Isle of Britain. Second, Manawydan son of Llyr Llediaith, when he went as far as Dyfed imposing restrictions. Third, Llew Llaw Gyfes, when he went with Gwydion son of Dôn, seeking a name and purpose of Riannon his mother.
The three chief Christian bards of the Isle of Britain: Merddin bard of Ambrosius; Taliesin chief of the bards; and Merddin son of Madawg Morvryn.
The three royal domains which were established by Rhodri the Great in Cambria: the first was Dinevor; the second Aberfraw; and the third Mathravael. In each of these three domains there is a prince wearing a diadem; and the oldest of these three princes, whichever of them it might be, is to be sovereign; that is, king of all Cambria. The other two must be obedient to his commands, and his command is imperative upon each of them. He is also chief of law and eldership in every collective convention and in every movement of the country and the tribe.
- E. G. Brown. "Tair Gwelygordd Santaidd Ynys Prydain." Studia Celtica. vol. 5. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1970. p. 1.
- Rendered "Boadicea" by Probert.
- Probert: "Mandubratius".
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