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The Romulans from Balance of Terror, played by Mark Lenard (left) and Lawrence Montaigne
Founded circa 5th century A.D
Home world Romulus and Remus
Capital Romulus
Official language Romulan (see: universal translator)
Affiliation Romulan Star Empire

The Romulans are a fictional race of aliens within the Star Trek franchise. First appearing in the original Star Trek series in the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror", they have since made appearances in all the main later Star Trek series: The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. In addition, they have appeared in various spin-off media, and prominently in the two films Star Trek Nemesis (2002) and Star Trek (2009).

Throughout the franchise, they are generally depicted as antagonists, who are always at war or in an uneasy truce with the United Federation of Planets, the show's galactic organization of which Earth is a member. In the Cold War allegory that Gene L. Coon introduced into the original series (although Gene Roddenberry denied any political connection), the fanatical Romulans closely resemble the late 1960s US view of the Communist Chinese.

The Romulans to a large extent also act as a counterpoint to the logical Vulcan race, who within the mythos of Star Trek are supposed to share a common ancestry. As such, the Romulans are characterized as passionate, cunning, and opportunistic—in every way the opposite of the logical Vulcans. The Romulans are also the dominant race of the Romulan Star Empire, the largest empire in the Beta Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy (although its positioning in the Beta Quadrant is never mentioned in any film or television episode and indeed several episodes of Deep Space Nine imply it is in the Alpha Quadrant).

The Romulans were created by Paul Schneider, who said, "it was a matter of developing a good Romanesque set of admirable extension of the Roman civilization to the point of space travel." There are some differences in their history and the way they are portrayed on television, in the motion pictures and in several books by Diane Duane, called the Rihannsu series, after the term they use to refer to themselves in their Romulan native language.



The Romulans began as a revolutionary group of Vulcans who were referenced as "those who march beneath the Raptor's wings" and refused to accept the Vulcan philosopher Surak's teachings of complete suppression of emotions. Around 400 CE, the dissident group split off from Vulcan society and began the long journey to the planet Romulus.

The Romulans are of the Vulcan species. One of three theories regarding how the Romulans arrived at the stellar system that includes the planets Romulus and Remus involves Sargon's people, referred to in conjecture as the "Arretians," as mentioned in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Return to Tomorrow." Sargon claimed that his people had seeded their species throughout the galaxy, and Spock said that could explain some enigmas of Vulcan pre-history. Hanoch, one of Sargon's people and a rival, further claimed that Spock's hybrid Human/Vulcan body was a "good fit" for his alien physiology. If these claims are true, then the Arretians may have been the antecedents for the Romulans—and indeed, they may have also been the species known as the Preservers. The inhabitants of Mintaka III ("Who Watches The Watchers?") seem to support this theory.

Another theory says that Vulcan colonization efforts led to a split, or schism, between factions favoring the school of logic espoused by the philosopher Surak and opposition groups which ended up leaving Vulcan. However, there is no explicit canon evidence that the group which left Vulcan was in rebellion against Surak; they may have indeed been opposed to him, or even acted with his blessings in leaving Vulcan. The "Vulcan Soul" Trilogy, written by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, told the story that it was Surak's idea that some of the Vulcan population should leave their homeworld to find a new home so that the Vulcan race could be preserved due to the endless wars then raging on the homeworld. (Conversely, the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Awakening" includes a line from the long-deceased Surak referring to the enemies of logic in his time as "those who marched beneath the raptor's wing"; this would appear to be a reference to the symbol of the Romulan Empire.) These Vulcans arrived on Romulus and founded what would become the Romulan Star Empire. This theory is supported by a reference within the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "United": Senator Vrax refers to Vulcans as "our distant brothers" during the first part of the episode.

Information from "Balance Of Terror" suggests yet a different theory. While Spock makes it clear that the events during the period of Surak are well documented ("The Savage Curtain"), he is completely uncertain in regard to the origin of the Romulans: "If the Romulans are an offshoot of my Vulcan blood--and I think this likely--then attack becomes even more imperative. Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive, colonizing period. And if they have retained that martial philosophy...then weakness is something we dare not show."

Romulans have pointed ears, upswept eyebrows, and copper-based blood that is green when oxygenated in the arteries and copper or rust colored when deoxygenated in the veins. The Romulan heart is said to be gray, though this may only be a poetic image. Many Romulans have a V-shaped ridge above the bridge of their nose, which was not shown in TOS, but introduced in the later series and films. Since Ambassador Spock was able to move freely among the citizens of Romulus, presumably the lack of this ridge is not viewed with prejudice by Romulans. Like Vulcans, Romulans are almost always depicted as having dark or black hair. Exceptions include the half-human Commander Sela who, like her mother Tasha Yar, has blonde hair. Brown haired examples have also been seen in various media. In the 2009 Star Trek film, the main antagonists, a group of Romulans from a future timeline, were completely bald, had greenish tinted skin, and facial/head tattoos. According to the Star Trek: Countdown comics, which were released before the movie and provide a back story for same, shaving the head and the painting of faces is a Romulan display of mourning. These particular Romulans, in an effort not to forget the loss of their loved ones, tattooed the designs on their faces rather than using ink (which wears off in time, signifying an end to the mourning period) showing that they would forever mourn.

In TOS, Romulans were depicted as of the same look as Vulcans but more emotional, very violent, and extremely motivated by honor and protocol.

Romulans share the longevity common to their Vulcan cousins. In "Unification," the Romulan Senator Pardek shared a friendship with Ambassador Spock lasting at least 80 years. Romulans can be expected to have similar life spans as their Vulcan brothers. Romulans living past 300 have been documented.[citation needed] However, the similarities end when it comes to mental abilities. It has been remarked upon that the Romulans do not share their Vulcan brothers' unique capacity for intelligence, although this has not been expanded upon. It also seems that they do not share the Vulcan's telepathic abilities either, but, again, this has not been explained. However, in regards to strength and other similar attributes, it appears, as in the new Star Trek movie, that Romulans share their Vulcan brother's heightened strength as shown during the fight scenes when a Romulan lifted a human off the ground with one arm and commented on how fragile they were. Whether this carries over to endurance, stamina, reflexes, ETC is not yet known.




Romulan ale is a fictional popular blue alcoholic beverage which was illegal because of a Federation trade embargo in the late 23rd century (per Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) through the late 24th century (per Star Trek Nemesis). Despite this, it is often traded and consumed openly. During the alliance with the Federation during the Dominion War, Romulan ale was briefly legalized, even though it was later outlawed again after the war, as stated by Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Other Romulan drinks include Kali-fal, a blue drink with an aroma that should "forcibly open one's frontal sinuses before the first sip." (However, some sources believe "Kali-fal" to be the proper name for Romulan ale due to their similar appearance.)


Romulan fashion of the late 24th century had distinctive squared shoulders. Hair is generally cut straight across the forehead close to the eyebrows, with longer locks framing the face, cut following the cheekbones; this style resembles a helmet.

In Star Trek: The Original Series, Romulan military uniforms consisted of a gray tunic with varying kinds of decorative sashes. Commanders wore red sashes, senior officers wore blue sashes, and most soldiers wore no sash at all. In subsequent series, such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Romulan uniforms were of a different style, with varying kinds of patterns and colors. The dominant uniform style thereafter was gray under a pattern of squares. These did not seem to have anything to do with the Romulans' position or rank. The rank insignia on the Next Generation-era Romulan uniform consisted of a series of diamond and crescent shapes, worn on the left collar. Their uniforms tend to fit rather loosely, and often feature large phaser holsters that allow the entire weapon to be 'dropped in', hiding most of it from view.

As of Star Trek Nemesis, Romulan uniforms were more standardized. Episodes of the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise depicted the 22nd century Romulans wearing exactly the same uniforms as those of the 24th century Nemesis.

Romulan military uniforms follow a distinct pattern through the 23rd and 24th centuries. When one allows for the change in technology in the TV industry and increased budgets, its easy to see how uniforms from the 23rd century (TOS) evolved into the uniforms seen in the 24th century (TNG). Male hairstyles do not appear to change greatly, although 24th century hairstyles seem more distinct from Vulcan hairstyles. Females in the 23rd century wore long hair in a variety of styles. By the 24th century, females wear a style similar to males.


Romulans make generous use of the colors green and grey (lesser-used colors are black and blue, pastel green and pastel orange), and often use materials resembling limestone for construction. The emblem of the Romulan Star Empire depicts a large bird of prey clutching the worlds of Romulus and Remus. The avian motif also appears on their Warbird starships, and may have cultural significance. Those who rejected the teachings of Surak were said to be "beneath the raptor's wing".

Designer Herman F. Zimmerman has said regarding interior design, "the Romulans have possessed advanced technology a lot longer than the Federation, so the look was a combination of art deco and medievalism meets high tech. Most of the designs were inspired by Italian designer Carlo Scarpa."

Regarding exterior design of the Senate area, designer Syd Dutton said director "Stuart Baird wanted us to think about Albert Speer, the architect who did all the conceptual drawings for Hitler. Speer took that National Socialist idea to a ridiculous extreme where everything was huge and classical and they have moats.

"The Romulans are a people who live in a marshy area. They had little houses on stilts around mudwork. The mudwork became part of this central core and that was where the old part of the city-–the Forum and Senate buildings-–was located. As the city expanded going away from that, the buildings became bigger and more technological."

Society and government

The Romulan government is very similar to that of the Roman Republic before it became the Roman Empire. The Romulan government consists of at least two parts:

  1. The Senate is the main governing and legislative body that meets in a large chamber in the capital city on Romulus. The Senate is headed by the Praetor, followed by the Proconsul. The Senate does not sit on the third day of the Romulan week.
  2. The Continuing Committee is composed of nine members. Only the Praetor, who heads the Committee, is guaranteed a seat; others, even the chairman of the Tal Shiar, must compete to be allowed in. The Committee's exact function is unknown, but in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges," the Continuing Committee convened to hear evidence of treason on the part of Senator Kimara Cretak.

It has been implied that Romulans use a caste system. The Romulan contempt for Vulcans, their treatment of other sentient species, such as the Remans, and their need for strict conformity, suggests that Romulan society is racist/speciesist.

The Romulan Star Empire once had an empress. A member of the Q Continuum informed Kathryn Janeway that he had considered having a child with the Romulan Empress ("The Q and the Grey"). However, it is unclear when the Romulans possessed this system of government, or how it functioned in relation to the Romulan Senate, or even if they have abandoned the monarchy.

The Romulan term for their mythological place of creation is "Vorta Vor."

It is generally accepted canon that Romulan females are equal to males, both having equal ability to rise through the ranks of the military. Notable females include Sela (Tasha Yar's daughter), Caithlin Dar (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), Donatra (Star Trek Nemesis), Taris, and Toreth (TNG: "Contagion" and "Face of the Enemy," both played by Carolyn Seymour) and the Romulan Commander in the TOS episode "The Enterprise Incident," who is never referred to by name (in Star Trek CCG and some noncanon novels, she is called "Commander Liviana Charvanek").



  • Karzan (mentioned only in Star Fleet Technical Manual, currently not officially considered canon)
  • D'deridex (may be non-canon; mentioned several times throughout the Enterprise novel Kobayashi Maru)
  • Neral
  • Hiren
  • Shinzon (human clone, Reman-raised)
  • Tal'Aura



  • Merrok
  • Vice Proconsul M'ret
  • Neral

Notable Military Officers

  • Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu, khre'Riov of the Bloodwing (from Rihannsu books)
  • Commander Tomalak
  • Commander Sela
  • Admiral Valdore
  • Admiral Alidar Jarok
  • Commander Donatra
  • Star*Dagger, Legendary khre'Riov found online in Starfleet Command series


In Star Trek canon, the Romulan military appears to be a "combined" service, like Starfleet. Its version of "joint chiefs of staffs" is the "High Command" (TNG's "The Defector"), an institution most likely carried over from and modeled on the Vulcan High Command (Star Trek: Enterprise).

Some Romulan military ranks are recognizable army and navy versions, while others are either carried over from the Vulcan High Command or entirely new. It's possible that army-specific ranks are reserved for the Tal Shiar.

One lowly rank in the Romulan Guard is "uhlan" (TNG's "Unification Part II"). This actually derives from an in-joke in an early fanzine, Tricorder Readings circa 1970. A fan wrote in explaining who the original Uhlans were, and wisecracked that because regiments of uhlans existed in the armies of many countries, Roman uhlans could be "Rom Uhlans". The joke was probably reprinted in a number of other fanzines. The real meaning of uhlan is "lancer".

The lowest commissioned military rank appears to be "sublieutenant." In TNG's "The Defector," Adm. Alidar Jarok initially used the cover name "Sublieutenant Setal", a mere "logistics clerk".

"Sublieutenant" presupposes the next-higher rank of "lieutenant," but this is speculation because no Romulan character has had that rank.

"Centurion" is the next-highest rank and probably the most common. In TNG's "The Enemy," Centurion Bochra appears to be an ordinary, midlevel officer. However, the nameless Centurion in TOS's "Balance of Terror" seems to be a senior officer who holds sway with his commander, having served on more than 100 campaigns with him.

"Subcommander" may be a holdover rank from the Vulcan High Command (T'Pol initially holds it in Star Trek: Enterprise). It's usually reserved for executive officers on Romulan ships (Tal in TOS's "The Enterprise Incident" and N'Vek in TNG's "Face of the Enemy"), but in rare cases, subcommanders may captain their own Warbirds (Taris in TNG's "Contagion"). In addition, some subcommanders have served in exchange-officer roles (T'Rul in DS9's "The Search, Parts I & II") or as government attaches (Velal in DS9's "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges").

"Commander" is the rank usually reserved for individual Warbird COs (Toreth in TNG's "Face of the Enemy," Sirol in "The Pegasus," and Tomalak in "The Enemy" and "The Defector"). However, some commanders have had charge over fleets of Warbirds (the unnamed Commander in TOS's "The Enterprise Incident" and Sela in TNG's "Redemption Part II").

"Admiral" is the highest naval-style rank and is accorded to sector commanders (Jarok in TNG's "The Defector") or fleet commanders (Mendak in TNG's "Data's Day").

Other senior officer ranks, such as major, colonel and general, are army-style and may often be reserved for members of the Tal Shiar. Deanna Troi impersonated "Major Rakal" in TNG's "Face of the Enemy" and served as a kind of "political officer." A Founder impersonated "Colonel Lovok" in DS9's "The Die Is Cast" and commanded a fleet of Warbirds.

The two Romulan generals mentioned in Star Trek canon may or may not have been Tal Shiar operatives. Velal, elevated from subcommander to general as of DS9's "When It Rains..." and "The Dogs of War," was probably not. However, it is possible that the unnamed Romulan general officer who rescued Tasha Yar and fathered Sela (TNG's "Redemption Part II") was with the Tal Shiar; without official canon sources, this remains purely conjectural.

Tal Shiar

The Tal Shiar is a Romulan intelligence organization. The name is an homage to the Tal Shaya, a Vulcan method of execution from the original Star Trek series where the neck is broken with a swift stroke for a quick and merciful death.[1]

Prior to the Dominion War, the Tal Shiar and the Cardassian Obsidian Order secretly worked together to launch a pre-emptive strike on the Founder homeworld. The plan was initiated by retired head of the Obsidian Order Enabran Tain, and was supported by Tal Shiar Colonel Lovok, who was later revealed to be a changeling, as a result the entire fleet was destroyed[2]. Soon after, the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion[3] while the Romulan Star Empire entered a pact of neutrality with them[4].

In the TNG season 6 episode "Face of the Enemy," Counselor Deanna Troi was surgically altered by a Romulan underground organization to impersonate a Tal Shiar officer Major Rakal.

In the Deep Space Nine season 6 episode "In the Pale Moonlight," Elim Garak and Captain Sisko successfully fool the Tal Shiar into concluding that the assassination of Romulan Senator Vreenak was carried out by the Dominion.


Romulus and Remus
Romulus (top) and Remus (bottom) from orbit
Class Class M planet
First episode appearance Balance of Terror
Major episode appearances Unification
The Defector
Affiliation Romulan Star Empire

Romulus (ch'Rihan) and Remus (ch'Havran) are the two Romulan homeworlds. Although both planets orbit their central star (as depicted in Star Trek Nemesis), Romulus and Remus are often referred to as twin planets.

Romulus had no sentient species until a revolutionary Vulcan movement colonized it around 400 CE. These revolutionaries, over time, became the Romulans. A sapient species called the Remans developed on Remus and was conquered by the Romulans, later becoming a lower class in Romulan society.

The original colonization group of Rihannsu came to this system after they fled their homeworld in rebellion against the philosophy of peace and logic proposed by Surak. As Spock would later point out, if the Romulans retained the passions and expansionist outlook that the pre-Surak Vulcans once had, it would make them an extremely dangerous race.


The Romulan government resembles the Roman Republic before it became the Roman Empire. The Romulan government consists of several parts: the Romulan Senate, the main governing and legislative body in a large chamber on Romulus. The Senate is headed by the Praetor, followed by the Proconsul. The Senate does not sit on the third day of the Romulan week. The Romulan Senate also has the Continuing Committee, which is composed of senators and the chairman of the Tal Shiar and confirms the new praetor.

The Romulan military and government also have positions very similar to those of the Roman Republic: Proconsul, Praetor, Senator. (See this article under the heading "Roman Republic" for more on these offices.)

In the Pocket Books novels by Diane Duane, the Romulan name for the planet is ch'Rihan, hence the endonym for the people is Rihannsu.


Remus was first mentioned in the dialogue of original series episode, "Balance of Terror", the first episode to feature the Romulans. However, the star map that accompanied Mr. Spock's overview of Romulan space did not include Remus, but instead a nearby planet or solar system, named "Romii". This is often interpreted as merely an alternate name for Remus: Rom II, or Romulus II.[citation needed] Remus's actual inhabitants were first mentioned in the 2002 motion picture, Star Trek Nemesis. (Two Remans appear in the background in an episode of Star Trek Enterprise which, while set two hundred years before the events of Star Trek Nemesis, was filmed after the movie's publication.)

The inhabitants of Remus are the bat-like Remans, who were subjugated ever since the Romulans staked their claim to Remus and set up their new homeworld in the system. It is unclear whether the Remans are native to Remus, or whether they are another Vulcanoid-offshoot race. Because the planet is tidally locked to its sun[citation needed], one side of the planet is in constant darkness. Living on this dark side[citation needed] has made the Remans extremely sensitive to light[citation needed].

The Remans were treated as second-class citizens within the Romulan Star Empire. Remus is the prime planet of dilithium mining and as such many Remans are forced into slave labor.

Much about Remus remains a mystery, including the source of its humanoid population. There is no onscreen depiction, one way or the other, to show whether Remans originated on Remus itself, or that they are mutated descendants of the original Vulcan colonists. Remans do, however, appear to have some telepathic abilities, green-tinted skin, and pointed ears, possibly implying a shared genetic lineage with Romulans and Vulcans. Hope for a more cooperative future between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire was strengthened after Shinzon's fall.


Romulans are noted for their use of disruptor weapons, photon torpedoes, plasma torpedoes, and their signature cloaking technology, as well as having spaceships that are powered by artificial singularities (due to the nature of these engines, once activated, there is no way to shut them down). In the 22nd Century, they displayed advanced holotechnology and telepresence.



The Romulans began as a revolutionary group of Vulcans who were referenced as "those who march beneath the Raptor's wings" and refused to accept the Vulcan philosopher Surak's teachings of complete suppression of emotions. Around 400 AD, the dissident group split off from Vulcan society and began the long journey to the planet Romulus. At some point, whether before or after reaching Romulus is unclear, dissidents developed among the Romulans themselves, and a faction of Romulans established a civilization later known as the Debrune.[5]

22nd century

The goal of the Romulan Star Empire was conquest. When Senator Valdore questioned this policy, he was dismissed from the senate (although he later joined the military, and rose quickly through the ranks, becoming Admiral by 2154).

In 2152, Humans made first contact with the Romulans when the Enterprise NX-01 encountered a Romulan-laid minefield. Communication was via audio only. The Romulans saw that Humans fostered a spirit of cooperation among the long-belligerent Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. Realizing that this would bring solidarity to the region and an obstacle to conquest, the Senate took steps to turn these species against each other.

In 2154, Romulans conspired with V'Las, head of the Vulcan High Command, to invade Andoria. V'Las' Romulan contact had the stated agenda of reunification with the Vulcans.

A few months later, the Empire sent prototype holoships remote-controlled from Romulus to disrupt a peace conference between Andorians and Tellarites. The Romulans piloted the ships using an abducted Aenar; however, their scheme was thwarted by the combined efforts of the Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites, led by the Enterprise. This enraged the Romulans, who vowed revenge upon humanity.

About 2156, the Earth-Romulan War began. Both sides, for unknown reasons, used weapons of an atomic nature. These were still in the Romulan inventory a century later. Romulan ships of this era were known for being painted to resemble birds-of-prey.

It has also been noted that no visual communication took place between the Humans and Romulans at that time. The war only ended after both sides had fought to the point of exhaustion, and realized that further conflict would result in mutual destruction. It has been implied that the Earth-Romulan War reached Earth, heavily damaging it: two centuries later, it was remarked that Earth had not been subjected to the horrors of total war since the date of the Romulan Wars. Though the war ended in a stalemate, it closed with the Battle of Cheron, which was a decisive Earth victory.

In 2160, the Romulans and the Humans signed a treaty ending the war and establishing a neutral zone one light year wide between their territories. The treaty was negotiated via subspace radio, again with no visual contact. In 2161, Humans, along with Vulcans and several other species, founded the United Federation of Planets, which continued this wary peace.

23rd century

Using a cloaked ship, the Romulans broke the treaty of 2160 by attacking several Federation outposts, circa stardate 1709.21, in the year 2266 ("Balance of Terror"). In response, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 tracked down the cloaked Romulan ship and destroyed it. This was also the first time humans saw what the Romulans looked like physically, and Spock surmised a common ancestry.

In 2267, it is thought that the Romulans entered a treaty with the Klingon Empire: in exchange for cloaking technology, the Romulans received D7-class battlecruisers, which were upgraded into extremely deadly war machines. (The script of "The Enterprise Incident" originally called for a Romulan ship to appear, but the original model was not available; rather than go to the expense of building a new one, the Klingon D7 model was substituted.) Spock mentioned intelligence about this treaty when the Klingon ship appeared on the viewscreen, at the outset of "The Enterprise Incident." The Romulan commander further implies the common ancestry when she confronts Kirk about violation of Romulan space. The events of 2154 suggest the Vulcans withheld from humans their prior knowledge of Romulan kinship with Vulcans.

In 2272, Klingon forces led by Kor had a victory over some Romulan opponents in the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt.

In 2293, the Romulan ambassador to the Federation, Nanclus, took part in a conspiracy to sabotage peace talks between the Klingons and the Federation. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Nanclus was arrested on Khitomer, along with several other conspirators. During the Khitomer conference, the Romulans signed a treaty with the Federation and the Klingons. Notably, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan sat with his Romulan cousins during the conference, indicating a dialogue, or at least a display of goodwill between the two nations.

24th century


In 2311, an event known as the Tomed Incident occurred between the Romulans and the Federation, costing thousands of lives. The details of the Tomed Incident are never revealed canonically, but it is referred to by Enterprise-D crew members in the Next Generation episode "The Neutral Zone" as "disastrous";[6] it resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Algeron, which reaffirmed the Neutral Zone as a no fly zone and prohibited the Federation from developing cloaking technology.[5][7]

For the next fifty years, the Neutral Zone was quiet. There was no direct contact between the Federation and the Empire, nor were there any further Romulan incursions.

In 2344, four Romulan Warbirds attacked the Klingon outpost at Narendra III. The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) responded to the outpost's distress call and engaged the Romulan ships, but was defeated and taken with its survivors (among them a version of Lieutenant Tasha Yar from the future of an alternate timeline) back to Romulan territory. Rumors circulated in the Federation that the Enterprise's broken hull was displayed on Romulus, to boost the morale of Romulan fleet academy students. The Klingons considered this action dishonorable, in contrast to the honor they saw in the Starfleet ship's attempt to defend Narendra III. As a result, relations strengthened between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.

Also circa 2344 the Romulans covertly assisted by a Klingon traitor, Ja'rod, attacked another Klingon planet, Khitomer and killed or captured all but two of the planet's population. These incursions led to a Romulan-Klingon war around the 2350s.

Circa stardate 41986.0 (December 26, 2364), the Romulan Star Empire ended its five decades of isolation when the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) intercepted a Romulan warbird. Several Romulan outposts had been destroyed by a then unknown force (later revealed to be the Borg). The Romulans opened communications to see if they could glean the information from the Federation, who had suffered similar losses. The Romulan Commander Tebok explained that the Romulans had decided to concentrate on their own internal affairs for the past fifty years and said "We are back," indicating that Romulans would again be active in galactic affairs.

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Past Tense, Part One," after Earth's history was inadvertently altered so that the Federation was never formed, the Romulans had established a presence in the Alpha Centauri system by the 24th century. Since Alpha Centauri is the star system closest to Earth, it indicates that, in the altered timeline, the Romulans invaded Earth's stellar region, despite not even being prompted by Earth's role in the encouragement of interplanetary cooperation.

Attempted conquests

In 2366, the Romulans attempted to trick the Enterprise-D into crossing the Neutral Zone, where two Romulan Warbirds were waiting to capture or—if necessary—destroy it. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, however, foreseeing a possible trap, had quietly contacted the Klingons beforehand; as a result, the Enterprise was covertly accompanied into the Neutral Zone by three Klingon Birds-of-Prey. The Romulans, now evenly matched, decided that the price of the Enterprise's destruction was too high and retreated ("The Defector").

In 2367, the Romulans brainwashed Commander Geordi La Forge of the USS Enterprise in an attempt to incite a Federation-Klingon war, but the plan was exposed and foiled. ("The Mind's Eye")

Later in 2367, during the Klingon Civil War, the Romulans secretly backed the House of Duras. Captain Picard, suspecting this, convinced pro-Federation leader Gowron to attack Duras' forces in order to draw Romulan reinforcements out of hiding; when the Romulans attempted to enter the fray, they were revealed by a Federation tachyon blockade, and the Duras family, exposed as traitors, lost all support. ("Redemption, Part 2")

Circa stardate 44995.3 (December 28, 2367), the Vulcan Ambassador Spock was discovered on Romulus, working with an underground movement for the reunification of the divided races. The Romulans saw this as a chance to conquer the Vulcans and sent a fleet of ships toward Vulcan, but their intent was discovered and the fleet destroyed by the Romulans themselves. Spock elected to remain underground on Romulus to teach the Vulcan heritage to those who might listen. These efforts facilitated the defection of Vice Proconsul M'Ret to the Federation. ("Unification", "Face of the Enemy")

Sometime in 2374, a 27 member Tal Shiar team commanded by Commander Rekar hijacked the USS Prometheus, an advanced prototype starship to be analyzed by the Tal Shiar. Two Emergency Medical Holograms, one from the USS Voyager, overthrew the Tal Shiar crew and the ship returned to Federation hands.

Dominion War

In the brief period before the war's outbreak, the Federation obtained a Romulan cloaking device (2371), under the condition that it be used exclusively in the Gamma Quadrant against the emerging threat of the Jem'Hadar and the Dominion and in return, Starfleet would forward all information regarding the Dominion immediately to the Romulans. ("The Search")

Several months later the Romulan Tal Shiar intelligence agency and their Cardassian counterparts, the Obsidian Order, launched a preemptive strike against the Dominion; their entire fleet of approximately 10 Warbirds and 10 Keldon class Cardassian vessels, however, was destroyed, and it was revealed that the Tal Shiar officer leading the attack was actually a Dominion agent. ("The Die Is Cast")

The Romulan Empire signed a non-aggression treaty with the Dominion, which had gained a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant in Cardassian space shortly before the Dominion War broke loose.

Circa stardate 51721.3 (September 20, 2374), Starfleet Captain Benjamin Sisko and Elim Garak tried to trick the Romulans into joining the war against the Dominion by faking recordings of a Dominion strategy meeting discussing the plan to conquer the Romulans along with the Klingons and Federation. They showed them to a high-ranking Romulan senator, Vreenak, who had negotiated the Romulan non-aggression treaty with the Dominion and was vice-chairman of the Tal Shiar, secretary of the War Plans Council, and one of Proconsul Neral's most trusted advisors. Vreenak discovered the deception and attempted to leave to inform his government, but died in his shuttle sabotaged by Garak. When the Romulans examined the wreckage, they discovered the recordings; assuming the incriminating defects to have been caused by the explosion, the Romulan Star Empire entered the war against the Dominion, joining the Klingon-Federation alliance. ("In the Pale Moonlight")

In 2375, after Proconsul Neral became praetor, the Romulans established a presence on Deep Space Nine and secretly began stockpiling weapons on a Bajoran moon. However, Bajoran Colonel Kira Nerys, with the assistance of Starfleet Admiral William Ross, forced the Romulans to back down and remove their weapons. ("Shadows and Symbols")

The rogue Federation agency, Section 31, had an agent in the Tal Shiar to safeguard Federation interests feeling that after the Dominion War, the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire would be the only two powers left in the region and would go to war.

Later that year, the allied fleet broke through Dominion lines and headed for the Dominion high command on Cardassia Prime. The fight went badly, however, until a Cardassian uprising headed by the former leader Damar turned the Cardassian fleet against the Dominion. After this, the Dominion was defeated and the devastating Dominion War ended. ("What You Leave Behind")

"Reman" coup

Circa stardate 56844.9 (November 4, 2379), the Romulan Senate was briefly overthrown in a Reman uprising led by Shinzon. After the senior Romulan leadership was assassinated in the Romulan Senate, the Remans took over the Senate and Shinzon became Praetor; he was, however, dispatched by Captain Jean-Luc Picard shortly afterwards.

Relations between the Romulan Star Empire and the United Federation of Planets improved somewhat as a result of Picard's assistance (Star Trek Nemesis).

Romulan Star Empire

The empire's exact size has never been declared. Star Trek writer/producer Ronald D. Moore has indicated that it is larger than the Klingon Empire but smaller than the Federation. However, in the Voyager computer game, Elite Force, the Romulan Star Empire is approximately two-thirds larger than the Klingon Empire, and is well over five times as large as the Federation, considering the Romulans' expansive nature. In the Star Trek Atlas, the Romulan Star Empire is about 1/3 the size of the Klingon Empire and surrounded by the Federation. Their territory has a spherical shape with a small tail shape extension heading to the Delta Quadrant.


The Romulans have been the focus of a number of books, and have appeared or been mentioned in many others. Among their key appearances have been:

  • Diane Duane's mini-series Rihannsu, consisting to-date of five books written between 1984 and 2006, is regarded as one of deepest works focusing on the Romulans.
  • In Dalla Van Hise's 1985 Killing Time, the Romulans use time travel to alter history, which results in James T. Kirk becoming an ensign and Spock a starship captain.
  • A prototype Romulan warbird is the focus of Simon Hawke's 1993 novel The Romulan Prize.
  • Robert Greenberger's 1995 The Romulan Strategem involves Jean-Luc Picard and his crew competing with the Romulan officer Sela to convince a planet to join their respective states.
  • In Diane Carey's 1999 Red Sector, Spock and Leonard McCoy try to cure a virus that has infected the Romulan royal family.
  • Josepha Sherman and Susan M. Schwartz's 1999 Vulcan's Heart involved Spock travelling to Romulus to aide the Romulan Commander from The Enterprise Incident.
  • 2003's Captain's Blood, one of many collaborative works between Star Trek lead William Shatner and husband-and-wife team Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, focused on the involvement of Kirk in preventing a Romulan civil war in the aftermath of Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • The Tomed Incident is the focus of David R. George III's 2003 novel Serpents Among the Ruins, which featured the crew of the Enterprise-B.
  • Star Trek: Vulcan's Soul is a trilogy written by Sherman and Shwartz between 2004 and 2007; set in the aftermath of the Dominion War, it focuses on members of Kirk's original crew becoming involved in a war between the Romulans and a fellow Vulcan off-shoot, the Watraii.
  • In Star Trek: Titan' 2005 premier Taking Wing, the Romulan Star Empire collapses into civil war the wake of Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • The 2005 Star Trek: Titan novel The Red King opens with the disappearance of a Romulan fleet and features Donatra, the Romulan commander featured in Star Trek: Nemesis, working alongside William Riker and his crew.
  • In the 2008 novel Kobayashi Maru by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, Admiral Valdore attempts once again to cause conflict in the region approximately one year after the incident involving the Aenar, this time using "Telecapture", designed to take over and control enemy ships. Using three Klingon vessels, Valdore attacks Coalition of Planets allies hoping to weaken or destroy two enemies of the Romulan Star Empire by provoking a war. Captain Archer is eventually able to provide evidence of this Romulan deception. This is followed by yet another unsuccessful attempt to break apart the alliance which involves using telecaptured Vulcan cruisers against Proxima Centauri (a recent coalition member). In the book, the event that finally sparks the Coalition's declaration of war against the Romulans is the destruction of the Earth freighter Kobayashi Maru.

Romulans in the Mirror Universe

The Romulans did not appear on screen in the Mirror Universe. The only canonical mention was in the 1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Through the Looking Glass. Benjamin Sisko, impersonating his Mirror Universe counterpart, claims that he is going to negotiate with the Romulans to secure their aid for the Terran Rebellion, suggesting that the Romulans are a significant power. However, this is merely a cover-story to explain his departure from the mirror Deep Space Nine, after which he would return to his own universe.

Romulans in Alternate reality

  • Destruction

According to the 2009 film Star Trek and the prequel comic series Star Trek: Countdown, Romulus (and presumably Remus) is destroyed in 2387 by a star going supernova. Spock was dispatched to stop the supernova with a red matter device but arrived too late. However, the implosion of the supernova caused by the red matter opened a rift in space-time that sent Spock and the Romulan mining ship Narada, along with its captain, Nero, and its crew, to go back in time more than 100 years, creating an alternate timeline. Driven mad with grief, mostly because of the death of his pregnant wife, Nero and his men seek revenge against the Federation, whom they view as having caused the catastrophe indirectly, including the older version of Spock using the superior technology of their ship and equipment. Nero also destroys the Federation starship USS Kelvin, seven other Federation starships, as well as a fleet of Klingon ships, and the planet Vulcan in the film's timeline.

Romulans in the Star Fleet Universe

This information below originates from the board wargame Star Fleet Battles, as well as related game systems such as Prime Directive and Federation and Empire.


Much as occurred in the original series, Romulans of the (non-canon) Star Fleet Universe descended from the Vulcans, having rejected the movement toward an unemotional, logic-based society, and settled in a distant star system. The modern era Romulans initially relied on an elderly fleet of warships converted to employ primitive non-tactical scale Warp drive, powered by fusion "impulse" drives. While the other races developed antimatter-based "tactical" Warp drive, which allowed them to fight at warp speed and increase weapons power, the Romulans fell behind. This was as much due to political infighting as to Gorn sabotage. (This is the SFU explanation for the 'sublight' Romulan vessel seen in Balance of Terror: in the SFU, sublight engines are a common term for Warp engines incapable of tactical combat maneuvering as they only allow a starship to fight at slower-than-light speeds.)

The Romulans eventually signed the "Treaty of Smarba" with the Klingon Empire, which supplied the Romulans with advanced Warp drive and a number of mothballed Klingon vessels in exchange for drawing Federation forces away from the Klingon border. These Klingon-built starships were fitted out with Romulan weaponry and cloaking devices (as seen in The Enterprise Incident). This technology allowed the Romulans to develop a new series of vessels which caused significant headaches to their enemies.


The Romulans in the Star Fleet Universe held a long-standing enmity with the Gorn Confederation, but their old "Eagle" series warships were no match against the advanced Gorn warships. The Klingon Empire even launched devastating raids against Romulan frontier bases and squadrons, and was planning a full-scale invasion were it not for the misfortune of the Tholians' arrival. The extragalactic Tholians drove a wedge between the Klingons and Romulans, arriving in the region of Klingon space where the invasion was being prepared. The Klingons kept these events a secret from the Romulans for a long time. The Romulans' eventually emerged in the post-Smarba period with a powerful new fleet composed of "Kestral" (Klingon-built vessels) and "Hawk" (hybrid) series fleets, along with extensively retrofitted "Eagle" vessels. After the Klingon Empire persuaded the Romulans to enter the General War, the Romulans invaded the already besieged Federation on what they called "The Day of the Eagle." Despite significant strategic advances into Federation space, they were eventually driven back to their own borders, and suffered a devastating wartime catastrophe on Remus.

After the General War, the Romulan empire erupted in civil war, had their border stations destroyed by the Interstellar Concordium in the course of the ISC War of Pacification, and subsequently aided in resisting the Andromedan invasion. A bruised Romulan Republic emerged from the ruins of their once proud star empire.

Connection to Roman Mythology

Many of the terms used in relation to the Romulans are derived from Roman mythology and government. Romulus and Remus are the two brothers who founded the city of Rome. Vulcan is the Roman god of fire and metallurgy. The proconsul and praetor were government officials during the Roman Republic and the Roman Senate was its governing body.

In TOS episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" it is revealed that the classical Greek and Roman gods were actually a race of advanced beings who had visited Earth thousands of years ago. It has been postulated that the same beings had visited other worlds as well – such as Vulcan, or Romulus. The theory did at one time appear on the Star Trek web site, and would explain the connection between the Romulans and Roman mythology, as well as the institutions of Roman government.


  1. ^ ST:TNG Companion
  2. ^ Star Trek: Deep Space 9: The Die Is Cast (2)
  3. ^ Star Trek: Deep Space 9: By Inferno's Light
  4. ^ Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Call To Arms
  5. ^ a b "Gambit (Part I)". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  6. ^ "The Neutral Zone". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  7. ^ "The Pegasus". Star Trek: The Next Generation.



  • Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages
  • Star Trek: The Magazine vol.3, #10 (February 2003) and #11 (March 2003)
  • Star trek Enterprise:The Good That Men Do
  • Star trek Enterprise:Kobayashi Maru


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