The area between the Tiber and the group of hills nearest the river - Capitoline, Palatine and Aventine - was occupied in ancient times by the Forum Boarium (from bos, ox), where the cattle market was held. This plain was of fundamental importance from Rome's earliest times, as the meeting point of the Tiber with the road running north-south to connect Etruria with Campania.
In the area between the three temples of the nearby Forum Holitorium and the temple of Portunus, the deity protecting the port, lay the commercial port of the city. The legends about the Foro Boario indicate the market precisely in this point, on the bank of the river, as the first nucleus for the development of the city.
The two temples of the Forum Boarium in Hellenistic style date from the Republican age (509-27 BC): the temple of Portunus, already mentioned - the so-called Temple of Virile Fortune, and the temple to Hercules the Victor also known as the temple of Vesta.