Rising to power within the military, Napoleon studied the military history of many cultures. Among these were the Roman and Greek cultures whose battles were often detailed in historic accounts, and their culture was part of the neo-classical movement of the time. There is little wonder that he would encourage the architects of the time to study and design buildings that would reflect his admiration of their culture. While many of the designs were simplified, their relationship to the ancient world is easily seen.
During his reign and continuing on for many decades, the neo-classical school of architecture was renamed the Empire style and became an important part of French culture. The Arc de Triomphe was built during this period, and it is one of the more famous buildings that remain intact today. It embodies the Roman style of building grand monuments that was adapted to fit into the glory of the French culture.