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The Romans relied heavily on the dome for much of their architecture, such as Hadrian's Pantheon, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla.

Characteristic of Roman architectural design was the construction of complex forms of domes to suit multilobed ground plans.

Many aspects of Roman building design were examined by the architect Marcus Vitruvius (active, late 1st century BCE) in his architectural treatise De architectura (c.27 BCE), although it appeared before the most creative phase of Roman construction. Conqueror of Gaul and Carthage, of Greece and Egypt, mistress of the Western world through six centuries, capital of the mighty Caesars, unchallenged home of grandeur, spectacle, and magnificence, splendid with the art plundered from a hundred enslaved peoples, giver of laws and morals and military science to all the West.

And yet this "Eternal City" was artistically inconsequential.

They also learned from Egyptian pyramid architecture and stonework.

Architecture is Ancient Rome's unique contribution to the history of art and to the culture of Europe.

Roman architects absorbed a great deal from Etruscan art and design, and had huge respect for both Greek architecture and Greek sculpture.Later there are the palaces, triumphal arches, and ceremonial gateways.It seems incredible that Etruscan capabilities (in architecture and other arts) - so advanced at the time of the rise of Rome - should have disappeared so quickly following the Roman takeover of Italy.In the arch, and the vault that grew out of it, the Romans had a means of thrusting the massive Colosseum walls story above story, of covering a luxurious bathing hall that could accommodate three thousand persons, and of creating the majestic form of the Pantheon.Although limited by their persistent use of post-and-lintel building methods, Greek influence over Roman architecture was dominant in almost all matters of architectural style and 3-D decorative art.