By and by (as frequently happens in periods of prosperity)
factions arose. There was a Roman party, a democratic party, and a party which favored Masinissa as king. Each had leaders of eminence in position and in bravery. Hanno the Great was the leader of the Romanizing faction; Hannibal, surnamed the Starling, was the chief of those who favored Masinissa; and Hamilcar, surnamed the Samnite, and Carthalo, of the democrats. The latter party, watching their opportunity while the Romans were at war with the Celtiberians, and Masinissa was marching to the aid of his son, who was surrounded by other Spanish forces, persuaded Carthalo (the commander of auxiliaries and in discharge of that office going about the country) to attack the subjects of Masinissa, whose tents were on disputed territory. Accordingly he slew some of them, carried off booty, and incited the rural Africans against the Numidians. Many other hostile acts took place on both sides, until the Romans again sent envoys to restore peace, telling them as before to help Masinissa secretly. They artfully
confirmed Masinissa in the possession of what he had taken
before, in this way. They would neither say anything nor listen to anything, so that Masinissa might not be worsted in the controversy, but they passed between the two litigants with outstretched hands, and this was their way of
commanding both to keep the peace. Not long afterward
Masinissa raised a dispute about the land known as the "big fields" and the country belonging to fifty towns, which is called Tysca. Again the Carthaginians had recourse to the Romans. Again the latter promised to send envoys to arbitrate the matter, but they delayed until it seemed probable that the Carthaginian interests would be utterly ruined.