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development into outright civil war.

Ferdinand II of Aragon was born on March 10, 1452, in the small town of Sos, Aragon, the son of John II of Aragon by his second wife, the Castilian noblewoman Joanna Enriquez.

As the younger son of a younger son, he appeared to have little prospect of inheriting the throne, but when his uncle Alfonso V died without legitimate heirs, his father John became King of Aragon at the age of sixty. 

John was on bad terms with his eldest son Charles, and refused to ackowledge him as heir to the throne. This resulted in unrest in Catalonia, and when Charles died in 1461, leaving his nine year old brother as heir, it developed into outright civil war. Queen Joanna succeeded in obtaining the recognition of her son as heir, but was forced to flee to Gerona, where she and Ferdinand were besieged in the castle by a rebel army for two months. John succeeded in rescuing his wife and son with the help of his son-in-law Gaston de Foix, but at the price of pawning the provinces of Roussillon and Cerdagne to France. He also handed over his eldest daughter Blanche to her sister Eleanor, who imprisoned and then murdered her.

The rebellious Catalans offered the throne to a series of pretenders, whilst Aragon and Valencia remained loyal to the King. Placed by his faher at the head of the Aragonese forces, the twelve year old Prince Ferdinand won a notable victory over the forces of the pretender Pedro of Portugal at the Battle of Calaf on 28th February 1465. As the chronicler Pulgar said, ‘throughout his childhood, he (Ferdinand) wa