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Romulan Star Empire

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Romulan Star Empire
Romulan Star Empire logo, 2379.svg

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c. 2379

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c. 2379
Location: Beta Quadrant
Alpha Quadrant
Capital: Romulus (formerly)
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
Major Species: Romulans
Military: Romulan military
Intelligence Service: Tal Shiar
Language: Romulan
Romulan Star Empire logo.svg

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c.2368

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire, c.2368

The Romulan Star Empire (or simply Romulan Empire) was a major intragalactic empire 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. By the late 24th century, the empire had gained prestige in interstellar politics and diplomacy.

History Edit

See: Romulan history


See also: Romulan planets, Romulan Neutral Zone

The Romulan Star Empire had borders with the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Cardassian Union. 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")

As an expansionist power, the Romulan Star Empire claimed vast tracts of space that were outside its effective authority, for example Sector 25434. These claims were not recognized by other governments. (TNG: "Tin Man") In the mid-22nd century, the Romulans used cloaked mines to assert new territorial claims. (ENT: "Minefield") The Romulans believed their destiny to be the domination of the entire Milky Way Galaxy. (TNG: "The Enemy")

Subject species Edit

Politics Edit

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:


Major Talok, an instrument of covert foreign-policy, in 2154

Romulan Neutral Zone map

Partial map of the Neutral Zone shown in 2266

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)

Government Edit

Romulan senate floor, 2379

Romulan Senate (2379)

Romulan Continuing Committee

The Continuing Committee (2375)

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 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)

Military Edit

Main article: Romulan military
See also: Romulan uniform, Romulan ranks, Romulan starships
Romulan bird-of-prey, ENT-aft, cloaking

Bird-of-Prey, 2152

The Romulan military is a powerful and technologically advanced force encompassing both spacefaring and ground forces. (TNG: "Unification II") 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.

The uniforms used by the Romulan military employ varying patterns and colors, which don't appear to have anything to do with the wearer's position or rank. It is unknown what they do mean; some fans speculate the different colors and patterns refer to family or clan affiliation.

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.

Science and TechnologyEdit

Romulan cloaking device

Cloaking device

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")

After the brief Romulan-Klingon Alliance in 2268, the Romulans exchanged their cloaking technology for the D7-class battle cruisers. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

See also

Appendices Edit

Related topics Edit

Background information Edit

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. [1]

Location of the EmpireEdit

In dialogue, the Romulan Star Empire has been exclusively referred to as an Alpha Quadrant power. It has also been stated that the space of the Romulan Empire was surrounded by the territories of the Cardassians, Klingons and the Federation.

The first time this fact began to be established occurred in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in the episode "The Search, Part II", where the Romulan Star Empire was identified as one of the great powers of the Alpha Quadrant. For the Dominion, there were four great powers in this quadrant: the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans and the Cardassians. With the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, two of these threats had been reduced in effectiveness - the Romulans and the Cardassians. By "Call to Arms", the Cardassians were in an alliance with the Dominion and three powers, small and great, had signed non-aggression pacts with the Dominion. These powers were the Miradorns, the Tholians, and the Romulans. In the opinion of Odo, the Dominion was ...making impressive inroads into the Alpha Quadrant....

In "In the Pale Moonlight", it was revealed that the Dominion forces were crossing the Cardassian-Romulan border and were launching attacks against Federation ships from there. The Dominion was secretly planning to invade Romulan space from Cardassia, and, by their estimation, the Romulans would be defeated in three weeks. When Benjamin Sisko was attempting to persuade Senator Vreenak to consider having the Romulans join the offensive against the Dominion, Sisko said "I'd pick the side most likely to leave us in peace when the dust settles. Maybe you're right. Maybe the Dominion will win in the end. Then the Founders will control what we now call Cardassia, the Klingon Empire and the Federation. So, instead of facing three separate opponents with three separate agendas, you'll find yourselves facing the same opponent on every side. There's a word for that. Surrounded".

The association of Romulus with the Alpha Quadrant was carried over to Star Trek: Voyager. In "Flashback", Captain Kathryn Janeway reminisced about what it would be like to live in James T. Kirk's era, with "The Alpha Quadrant still largely unexplored." and "Romulans hiding behind every nebula". In "Message in a Bottle", a section of the Romulan border was identified to be located near the edges of the Alpha Quadrant. In "Bliss", when it seemed that the USS Voyager would find a way back home, Tom Paris stated that he looked forward to encountering Cardassians, Ferengi and Romulans again in the Alpha Quadrant. In "Flesh and Blood", Chakotay identified the Romulan disruptor as an Alpha Quadrant weapon. In "Q2", in a simulation, several Alpha Quadrant species were fighting over mining rights to a planetoid, and Q Junior had to find a way to settle the dispute. The species listed were the Nausicaans, the Bolians, the Cardassians, the Romulans, the Ferengi, and the Bajorans.

In virtually all reference works however, the Romulan Star Empire has been depicted or stated to be located in the Beta Quadrant with a border only with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. These books include such works as the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p 43, 393), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual (page 2), Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Journal (page 9), Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers' Technical Manual (page 20), Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual (page 27) and Star Trek: Star Charts (pages 45, 55, 56, etc.). Even reference works that date back to a time before the Alpha and Beta Quadrant distinction was invented depict the Romulans in the area that would later on be classified as the Beta Quadrant. These include such works as the Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual (T0:02:07:00) and Star Trek Maps (Chart A). Only one of these reference works graphic was reused on screen in an appearance as an illegible display graphic on a PADD in Star Trek: Insurrection. [2] [3] The information on the PADD, though, was completely illegible on screen. [4]

Apocrypha Edit

In many novels of the TOS-era, such as in Diane Duane's Rihannsu series, the Romulans are synonymously called "Rihannsu." Their home star is Eisn, known to Humans as 128 Trianguli.

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 play a major role in STO's first expansion, Legacy of Romulus.

External link Edit

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