Vespasian was the first emperor to successfully take Rome by force of arms. Although he depended on his armies to keep him in power, Vespasian did not pursue a career of conquest, instead emphasizing the peace he brought to the empire after foreign wars and civil discord. He kept a tight rein on the army while allowing the senate at least a semblance of authority. A new building program began to change the face of Rome, the most famous example being the amphitheater, known later as the Colosseum.
He also took pains to enforce the collection of taxes, to some annoyance. When his son Titus rebuked him for concerning himself with the fees from the ‘public conveniences’ in Rome, he handed Titus some coins and proclaimed, ‘money doesn’t smell.’ when Vespasian died in 79 AD, he was declared a god and the memorial coinage in his name was the most extensive since Augustus.