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December 08, 2018 2 min read

Mordred was born out of an incestuous relationship with King Arthur and his half-sister, Morgause. Morgause was married to King Lot of Orkney and Lothian. Morgause is also sister to Morgan Le Fey, an enchantress, who is Arthur’s protector through her magical sorcery.

For many years it has been taught that Mordred killed his father, King Arthur, at the battle of Camlann. The site of Camlann is unknown, but accounts show it to be by a crooked river. Many believe the battle took place at Slaughter Bridge in Cornwall. Mordred is first mentioned in the Annales Cambriae against the year 537, where it states "The strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Mordred fell."

Although Geoffrey of Monmouth’s portrays Mordred as Arthur’s betrayer, Welsh poet Meilyr Brydydd describes Gruffudd as having "the nature of Mordred" in his valour in battle. This supports that Mordred was viewed positively by the sixth century Celts. Many believe that Arthur and Mordred, in fact, fought together at Camlann against opposing armies, both falling together.  

In Geoffrey’s account Mordred is portrayed a traitor to Arthur. King Arthur left Mordred in charge of the throne, whilst he crossed the English Channel to wage war on Lucius Tiberius of Rome. Whilst away, Mordred seized the throne and committed adultery with Arthur’s wife, Guinevere. Learning of the betrayal, Arthur returned to fight the Battle of Camlann. Mordred is killed in battle against Arthur and his loyal knights. Arthur, mortally wounded, is sent to Avalon (believed to be at the top of Glastonbury Tor).

Arthur’s son, Constantine became Arthur’s successor and 6th king of Dumnonia. In the guise of a monk, he killed two of his own brothers inside a church, possibly because of their conversion to Christianity. Gildas told Constantine that if he did not repent of his sins he would be damned. King Arthur’s son became Saint Constantine and was venerated in South West Britain. The death of Arthur and Mordred marked the end for the old Celtic religion as Britain converted to Christianity.

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