This chapter presents a brief overview of the evolution of structural design of the masonry arch along the history. The 19th century, with Claude-Louis Navier’s Lecons of the 1820s, is usually identified as the starting point of the elasticity theory, linking stress analysis and material strength. Although rudiments of masonry ultimate behaviour and stability conditions have been already stressed during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is only after the 1930s that a systematic approach was devoted to plasticity and limit analysis. Limit analysis does not require much computational requirements and knowledge of the practitioner but it is still powerful, if compared with the more sophisticated nonlinear analyses that are widespread today in modern engineering. In the presence of good-quality masonry with homogeneous constructive characteristic and structural behavior, when subjected to seismic loading, ancient buildings can be studied as an assembly of independent and considerably autonomous sub-structures called macro-elements.