The Romulans were a humanoid race from the planet Romulus in the Beta Quadrant. The Romulans were biological cousins of Vulcans, as they were descended from those who rejected Surak's reforms during the Time of Awakening. The Romulan Star Empire was the Romulan state and one of the major powers known in the galaxy.
When Surak's reforms of embracing logical principles and rejecting emotions spread rapidly across Vulcan in the 4th century, a minority rejected Surak's ideals. Those who marched beneath the banner of the raptor, which became the symbol of the Romulan Star Empire, departed Vulcan in the 4th century. Later, some of their descendants established settlements on the planets Calder II, Dessica II, Draken IV, Yadalla Prime, and Barradas III. An ancient offshoot civilization, called the Debrune, at one time existed on Barradas III, but it had died out by the 24th century. (ENT: "Kir'Shara"; TNG: "Gambit, Part I")
At some point, another group settled on twin planets that became known as Romulus and Remus. While Romulus was a Class M planet, Remus was a harsh planet notable only for its dilithium deposits. Once settled, the two worlds became the foundation of an interstellar empire that expanded to many worlds, reaching across some of the Alpha Quadrant. Eventually that power came to be known as the Romulan Star Empire. (TNG: "Gambit, Part II"; Star Trek Nemesis)
In 2387, a star close to Romulus went supernova. Ambassador Spock attempted to prevent the supernova from striking the planet using red matter, but he was unsuccessful and Romulus was destroyed. A mining vessel, the Narada, survived and was captained by Nero, who exploited the black hole's creation of a time warp into the past to attack Spock's home planet of Vulcan in revenge and planned to destroy all planets of the Federation so that Romulus could be "free" and possibly conquer everywhere else. The first part of Nero's plan was mostly successful as Vulcan and most of the Vulcan species was destroyed. However, the Narada and its crew were destroyed in the Battle of Earth by the crew of the Enterprise led by the James T. Kirk of the new timeline. (Star Trek)
Rise of the Republic Edit
In keeping with their xenophobic and arguably racist attitudes, the Romulans tend to conquer species rather than form alliances with them, and individual Romulans tend to treat other species with varying degrees of disdain.
That did not prevent them from employing diplomacy when it suited their purposes. Soon after their emergence from a century of isolation in the mid 2260s, they had established at least two embassies with the Federation. One such embassy was a three-way endeavor on the planet Nimbus III, along with the Klingon Empire, and the other was on Earth itself. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Klingons and Romulans once shared an alliance for a number of years, beginning in the 2260s. Over the years, a number of incidents, including the Khitomer Massacre, led the Klingons to develop a deep-seated hatred for the Romulans, and the Romulans were arguably the species that Klingon society in general despises most of all. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"; TNG: "The Neutral Zone")
A Cardassian embassy existed on Romulus for a time, and Elim Garak was "employed" there as a "gardener", suggesting that the two species maintained an active diplomatic relationship. (DS9: "Broken Link") In 2371, Romulan and Cardassian agents in the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order cooperated in an attempted attack on the Dominion. (DS9: "The Die is Cast") The Romulans had certainly cut ties with the Cardassians by the time they entered into the Dominion War, but precisely when their relationship ended prior to this was unclear.
One common saying among the Romulans was "Never turn your back on a Breen." While this statement could be taken as partially humorous and not in itself indicative of hostilities between the two species, the Breen Thot's apparent condition that the Breen be given Romulus in exchange for their help in the Dominion War suggested there was some degree of unfriendly history between the two. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows")
The two species remained distrustful of one another for an incredibly long time, but some Romulans grew tired of this, and a grassroots movement for reunification of the two species was active for a time on Romulus. It was generally assumed that after the split, Romulans and Vulcans were unaware of their common ancestry until the 23rd century. (ENT: "Kir'Shara"; TOS: "Balance of Terror")
Due to their shared ancestry, Vulcans and Romulans possessed very similar physiology, including varied skin color. Romulans had pointed ears, eyebrows that were arched and up-swept, and copper-based blood that appeared green when oxygenated in the arteries, or copper or rust-colored when deoxygenated in the veins. (Star Trek Generations) Most Romulans had two brow ridges above the bridge of their nose, forming a V-shape on the forehead. However, a minority of Romulans lack these ridges, making them outwardly indistinguishable from Vulcans.
Despite their common ancestry there were also many subtle internal physiological differences between Vulcans and Romulans. Their life signs registered distinctly enough on the scanners of the USS Enterprise in 2268 that officer Pavel Chekov was able to distinguish his crewmate Spock from the crew complement of a Romulan starship, though he did note the difficulty of the task. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")
In Romulan society, military/political rank influences social standing. Because Romulans were members of a militaristic civilization, who considered defending the Romulan Empire and their own personal honor of foremost importance, military service and its accompanying rank were decisive factors in determining social eminence. However, while the military played an important role in Romulan society, it was the Romulan Senate that controlled the government.
At one point in history, Romulus was a sovereign nation ruled by an Empress, as indicated by Q. By the 23rd century, the highest position of power was held by the Praetor, who presided over the Romulan Senate. The Praetor headed the Continuing Committee, which was comprised of the Empire's most elite individuals, who made decisions of the utmost importance.
By the 24th century, the government of Romulus was dependent upon the Tal Shiar, the Romulan secret police, to maintain order and stability among both civilians and the military. The Tal Shiar was known for its brutal tactics, which included routine kidnapping, torture, and assassination. Many Romulans feared even expressing dissenting opinions in order to not bring the attention of the Tal Shiar. There were also indications that tension existed between the military and the Tal Shiar.
Romulan society was based upon a highly structured caste system. Unlike most of the highly evolved species in the Alpha Quadrant, Romulans still practiced slavery, in this case of the Remans, which they used for slave labor and as shock troops.
Romulans tended to be highly xenophobic, engaging in extended periods of isolationism, and could be perceived as outright racist to other species, believing themselves to be superior. At least some Romulans believed that, one day, the Romulan Empire would rule the entire galaxy. According to Miles O'Brien, there was no piece of technology in existence that the Romulans didn't claim they invented before everyone else.
Romulans typically did not disclose their first names, and instead used their last names formally. In order for a Romulan to divulge their first name, one would have to be either a close friend or family member.
The Romulans lacked the rigorous mental disciplines developed by the followers of Surak. Like the Vulcans, the Romulans gave up unrestrained violence as a way of life. However, in the case of the Romulans, this was replaced with a controlled deviousness: as a species, the Romulans were generally thought of as duplicitous, a reputation reinforced by the actions of their government over time.
Reluctance to rely on overt hostility generally lead the Romulans to play a waiting game with their opponents, attempting to manipulate an adversary into breaking—or appearing to break—an agreement so as to give them a solid justification for striking.
The totalitarian nature of Romulan society, in which dissent was often a crime and Romulan security officers masqueraded as citizens, led many Romulans to be extremely paranoid.
In the 24th century, a dissident movement began to gain momentum, based on the desire to learn about Vulcan and their ideals. The movement's ultimate goal was the reunification of Romulus and Vulcan. Ambassador Spock was deeply involved in this movement.
While many arguably belligerent and militaristic species, such as Nausicaans, Breen, and even Klingons often sold their fighting skills to the highest bidder, Romulans were rarely, if ever, seen involved in such activities. This was possibly due to the apparent superiority complex of most Romulans, many of whom likely found such work beneath them, and who preferred to serve the Romulan Empire in some capacity. However, Miles O'Brien once played a game of tongo with a Romulan mercenary. In cases of anonymity, they were known for commonly using hired assassins, such as the Flaxians, to conduct their off-world "justice".
- Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "War Is Good for Business" (First appearance)
- Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "Treasure Trading Station"
- Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "Skirmish" (Mentioned only)
- Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "The Ultimate Klingon"
Notes and references Edit
- ↑ Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "The Ultimate Klingon"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 TOS: "Balance of Terror"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Trek Nemesis
- ↑ VOY: "The Q and the Grey"
- ↑ DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 TNG: "Face of the Enemy"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 TNG: "The Neutral Zone"
- ↑ TNG: "Data's Day"
- ↑ TNG: "The Enemy"
- ↑ DS9: "Explorers"
- ↑ TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"
- ↑ TNG: "Contagion"
- ↑ DS9: "Image In the Sand"
- ↑ Star Trek: Federation Legacy – "The Ultimate Klingon" (Act One)
- ↑ TNG: "The Defector"
- ↑ TNG: "The Pegasus"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 TNG: "Unification I"
- ↑ ENT: "United"
- ↑ TNG: "Unification II"
- ↑ DS9: "Change of Heart"
- ↑ DS9: "Improbable Cause"