Here clearly there was a standing reminder to all men of his pre-eminence. Pre-eminent he certainly was ; as he himself put it later, the State was in his hand. But the Ides of March warned him that he must not be autocratic as well as pre-eminent. Roman republican sentiments had to be respected. He probably desired to respect them ; almost certainly he shared his countrymen's conservatism. At any rate he was particularly careful to interest himself in activities where conservative forces normally have most scope. The various priesthoods excited his lively attention.