PART V: NOBODY'S RIGHT IF EVERYBODY'S WRONG
But for now, context.
Then word came that Pompey was on his way, fresh from victory in Spain, to "help" Crassus seal his victory. Crassus was in no mood to share, so he attacked Spartacus, shredding his army in a battle royale at the River Sale. Pompey showed up just in time to mop up the remnants. According to Appian, Spartacus's body was never found (and not because a bunch of slaves claimed to "be" him, either.) Crassus had six thousand surviving slaves crucified along the road between Rome and Capua. Their bodies were left to rot long after they died, sending a chilling warning to other slaves with ambitions of freedom.
Following the consulship, Crassus faded into the background somewhat, content to grow his fortune and use it to influence the Senate and foster the careers of certain unsavory up-and-comers (who we will touch on later). Pompey, on the other hand, rode his consular wave of popularity to even greater heights. In 67 B.C., the Senate granted him unprecedented military authority to sweep the Mediterranean clean of pirates, who plagued the seaways at this time. Pompey was reputed to have succeeded in a matter of months, but he wasn't done there. Pompey's pirate-hunting operation turned into a case of mission creep on steroids, as he turned his wrath against the pirates' sponsor in the East, Rome's old enemy Mithridates of Pontus. In the course of his war against Pontus, the nations of Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Syria, Colchis, Nabataea and Judea were dragged into the melee. Three years later, huge swaths of Asia Minor and the Middle East had become Roman territory, and Pompey was hailed as the greatest general of his age, and recognized by all as the most powerful man in Rome.
In the year of his consulship (63 B.C.), he demonstrated precisely this quality in his revelation of the plot of Lucius Sergius Catilina (or Catiline). In a series of four powerful speeches to the Senate, Cicero revealed that Cataline plotted to murder him and overthrow the Republic with the support of foreign troops. Catiline, who was the scion of one of Rome's oldest families, attempted to discredit Cicero by claiming this "new man" was maligning his ancestral dignity from jealousy, and thus insulting the Senate at large. Yet Cicero so skillfully dismantled Catiline's character that he utterly destroyed any support for him in the Senate and drove him from the city. Catiline was later killed in battle against Roman legions, and his co-conspirators were rounded up and executed (disturbingly, without trial.) Cicero was hailed as "father of his country," and a contemporary could reasonably claim that this was a man who could stand against the creeping ambitions of senators such as Crassus and Pompey, and hold the state secure against any assault.