When Jugurtha received this news, which was utterly at variance with his expectations, as he had felt convinced that all things were purchasable at Rome, he sent his son, with two of his friends, as deputies to the senate, and directed them, like those whom he had sent on the murder of Hiempsal, to attack every body with bribes. Upon the approach of these deputies to Rome, the senate was consulted by Bestia, whether they would allow them to be admitted within the gates; and the senate decreed, " that, unless they came to surrender Jugurtha's kingdom and himself, they must quit Italy within the ten following days." The consul directed this decree to be communicated to the Numidians, who consequently returned home without effecting their object.
Calpurnius, in the mean time, having raised an army, chose for his officers men of family and intrigue, hoping that whatever faults he might commit, would be screened by their influence; and among these was Scaurus, of whose disposition and character we have already spoken. There were, indeed, in our consul Calpurnius, many excellent qualities, both mental and personal, though avarice interfered with the exercise of them; he was patient of labor, of a penetrating intellect, of great foresight, not inexperienced in war, and extremely vigilant against danger and surprise.
The troops were conducted through Italy to Rhegium, from thence to Sicily, and from Sicily into Africa; and Calpurnius's first step, after collecting provisions, was to invade Numidia with spirit, where he took many prisoners, and several towns, by force of arms.