Jugurtha, meantime, who, after relinquishing his intention to surrender, had renewed the war, was now hastening the preparations for it with the utmost diligence. He assembled an army; he endeavored, by threats or promises, to recover the towns that had revolted from him; he fortified advantageous positions;1
he repaired or purchased arms, weapons, and other necessaries, which he had given up on the prospect of peace; he tried to seduce the slaves of the Romans, and even tempted with bribes the Romans themselves who occupied the garrisons; he, indeed, left nothing untried or neglected, but put every engine in motion.
Induced by the entreaties of their king, from whom, indeed, they had never been alienated in affection, the leading inhabitants of Vacca, a city in which Metellus, when Jugurtha began to treat for peace, had placed a garrison, entered into a conspiracy against the Romans. As for the common people of the town, they were, as is generally the case, and especially among the Numidians, of a fickle disposition, factious and turbulent, and therefore already desirous of a change, and adverse to peace and quiet. Having arranged their plans, they fixed upon the third day following for the execution of them, because that day, being a festival, celebrated throughout Africa, would promise merriment and dissipation rather than alarm. When the time came, they invited the centurions and military tribunes,
with Titus Turpilius Silanus, the governor of the town, to their several houses, and butchered them all, except Turpilius, at their banquets; and then fell upon the common soldiers, who, as was to be expected on such a day, when discipline was relaxed, were wandering about without their arms. The populace followed the example of their chiefs, some of them having been previously instructed to do so, and others induced by a liking for such disorders, and, though ignorant of what had been done or intended, finding sufficient gratification in tumult and variety.