The Romans borrowed the concepts of commerce and urban grandeur from the Etruscans. The Etruscans, who inhabited the northern region of Rome in a land called Etruria (present-day Tuscany), were believed to have either directly imparted the knowledge and skills of trading or only served as examples to the ancient people of Rome.
The origin of the Roman Empire traces its roots back to the mythological belief that Rome was founded by the demi-god brothers, Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C.E. It ties to another legend that claims a Trojan warrior named Aeneas, who, in Virgil's "Aeneid" is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus, established the powerful Roman civilization. Scholars concur that these epic tales were mere fabrications of the Romans' attempt to pattern their history and culture from the Greeks. However, certain corroborative data has recently emerged that Rome and Greece might in fact belong to the same culture through a common ancestral tongue.
The Romans were renowned for adopting the culture of various civilizations, refining and enhancing the borrowed concepts to suit their needs. They learned the art of trading from the Etruscans who were regular seafaring merchants on the Tiber River where Rome was situated. From a small town, Rome grew rapidly and later gained military might and became the formidable Roman Empire.