|Romulan Star Empire|
|Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c. 2379|
|Head of State:||Empress of the Romulan Star Empire|
|Head of Government:||Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire|
|Legislature:||Imperial Senate of the Romulan Star Empire|
|Intelligence Service:||Tal Shiar|
|Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c.2368|
The Romulan Star Empire (or simply, Romulan Empire) was a major galactic regional power from the 22nd through 24th centuries, encompassing the Romulan people and their subject worlds and species. The Empire was known for its xenophobic character and policies of extreme secrecy and territorial protectionism.
See: Romulan history
The Romulan Star Empire was surrounded by the Cardassian Union, the United Federation of Planets, and the Klingon Empire. The Federation-Romulan border was defined by a fixed border known as the Romulan Neutral Zone. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight") There was also a distant Romulan border near the outer edges of the Alpha Quadrant, in a region of space where Starfleet starships operated on deep space missions in the 2370s. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")
In external application, Romulan political agendas appeared largely unified over the centuries. Their goals focused on maintaining Imperial security through vigilance, and negating the perceived advantages of their rivals. Both goals were accompanied by a near-paranoid reticence to reveal information, even facts as basic as their racial identity, that might illuminate other Romulan ambitions or motivations. Short of war, the means to those ends have generally varied between favored methods:
- Surreptitious political disruption of rivals – as in the secret relationship with V'Las of the Vulcan High Command in the 2150s, participation in the Khitomer conspiracy of 2293, secret alliances both with the Klingons- such as in the House of Duras from the 2340s or against the Klingons, or the aborted attempt to replace key Starfleet officers with clones in the late 24th century. (ENT: "Kir'Shara"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Sins of the Father", "The Mind's Eye"; Star Trek Nemesis)
- Limited, surprise or covert military action – as in the use of telepresence-operated drone-ships to spark the "Babel Crisis" among neighboring powers in 2154, a single Bird-of-Prey used to attack the Federation border and gauge its weaknesses in the Neutral Zone incursion of 2266, or the attack on the Klingon outpost at Narendra III in 2344. (ENT: "Babel One", "United"; TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
The Empire did resort to open warfare when it was deemed necessary, but in typical fashion, their reasons for war were less than candidly expressed, as in the Earth-Romulan War and the enigmatic Tomed Incident of 2311. Unlike the Klingon objectives of the Federation-Klingon War (2267), Romulans do not appear to have gone to war with neighboring powers under a flag of "expansion", and no competition existed for the development of Class M worlds along the Romulan Neutral Zone. Romulans expressed little resentment for the negotiated Zone they zealously guarded, and following their conflicts, the Empire withdrew behind the safety of the buffer for many decades of self-imposed isolation from Federation affairs. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles"; TNG: "The Neutral Zone")
After a clone intended to replace decorated Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Shinzon, turned on the Romulans and committed a coup in 2379, the Federation (including Picard himself) helped stop Shinzon's plans of interstellar domination. The Romulans at that point suggested that an era of warmer relations may be beginning with the Federation. (Star Trek Nemesis)
The Romulan Star Empire was ruled by the Romulan Senate, which was overseen by the Praetor. The Continuing Committee was another powerful government body the praetor presided over. In 2373, Q considered the Romulan empress as an adequate mate. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"; VOY: "The Q and the Grey"; Star Trek Nemesis)
The Senate represented an oligarchy; like an authoritarian system, an oligarchy is controlled by a small group of individuals, who govern mainly in their own interest. Clearly, given Tal Shiar ubiquity, the Romulans had a dictatorship; however, relatively little is known about the Romulan civil legal system.
The political structure of the Romulan Star Empire is unknown, but it seemed to be unitary, since the central governments held all power.
The Romulan Senate dispatched ambassadors from time to time, including Caithlin Dar to the Planet of Galactic Peace and Nanclus to the United Federation of Planets. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
- See Romulan military for full information.
The Romulan military is a powerful force in the Alpha Quadrant. Despite being defeated by Earth in the Earth-Romulan War of the 2150s, the Romulan Star Empire continued to be a powerful presence, not afraid to tempt Starfleet by entering the Neutral Zone. Romulan forces were a deciding factor in the Dominion War, whose entry in 2374 turned the tide of war in favor of the Allies. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")
Romulan military operations are supported and planned by the War Plans Council, a high-level government agency.
Besides regular forces, the Romulan Tal Shiar also has its own fleet of starships, and are a ruthless and powerful organization within the Empire and beyond.
- See also
Science and Technology
The Romulan Ministry of Science oversaw the scientific research of the Romulan Star Empire. The Romulan Astrophysical Academy was a division within the Romulan science community. (DS9: "When It Rains..."; VOY: "Eye of the Needle")
- See also
The double-headed bird of prey emblem of the Romulan Star Empire was first introduced in "The Neutral Zone". The symbol was designed by Monte Thrasher. (The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine, Vol. 12, p. 54) A Romulan emblem was seen in "The Enterprise Incident", though it was never used again. 
In the video game Star Trek: Encounters, the Romulans mostly play the villain role in the levels based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, in the game's last level, a temporal anomaly near Earth causes the USS Defiant to briefly appear in an alternate timeline where the Romulan Empire has conquered the Federation.
In Star Trek Online, the Empire is in a state of inner turmoil after the destruction of their homeworld due to a supernova. They are now led by Empress Sela and blame the Federation for the destruction of their home planet, an event that led to a renewal of hostilities between the Romulan Empire and the Federation. Members of the Reman resistance and the Vulcan reunification movement have also established a Romulan Republic on "New Romulus" as a democratic state, allied with the Federation and the Klingon Empire in opposition to Sela's dictatorial regime. The new Romulan Republic will play a major role in STO's first expansion, Legacy of Romulus.