Now, Sextus Pompeius was holding Sicily, was ravaging Italy, and, with his numerous piratical ships under the command of Menas the corsair and Menecrates, had made the sea unsafe for sailors. But he was thought to be kindly disposed towards Antony, since he had given refuge to Antony's mother when she fled from Rome with Fulvia, and so it was decided to make terms with him.
The men met at the promontory and mole of Misenum, near which Pompey's fleet lay at anchor and the forces of Antony and Caesar were drawn up. After it had been agreed that Pompey should have Sardinia and Sicily, should keep the sea clear of robbers, and should send up to Rome a stipulated amount of grain, they invited one another to supper.
Lots were cast, and it was the lot of Pompey to entertain the others first. And when Antony asked him where the supper would be held,
‘There,’ said he, pointing to his admiral's ship with its six banks of oars,
‘for this is the ancestral house that is left to Pompey.’ This he said by way of reproach to Antony, who was now occupying the house which had belonged to the elder Pompey. So he brought his ship to anchor, made a sort of bridge on which to cross to it from the headland, and gave his guests a hearty welcome on board.
When their good fellowship was at its height and the jokes about Antony and Cleopatra were in full career, Menas the pirate came up to Pompey and said, so that the others could not hear,
‘Shall I cut the ship's cables and make thee master, not of Sicily and Sardinia, but of the whole Roman empire?’
Pompey, on hearing this, communed with himself a little while, and then said:
‘Menas, you ought to have done this without speaking to me about it beforehand; but now let us be satisfied with things as they are; for perjury is not my way.’ Pompey, then, after being feasted in his turn by Antony and Caesar, sailed back to Sicily.