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Commander Toreth
Commander Toreth, a Romulan female

Planet of Origin:



Romulan Star Empire
Romulan Republic

Environmental Needs:

Class M conditions

Life Span:

200 years

Commander Suran, a Romulan male

The Romulans (Rihannsu in Romulan, meaning "the Declared") are a humanoid race who have had many conflicts with the Federation until the late 24th century, after their homeworld, Romulus, was destroyed by a nearby stars' supernova in 2387. The Romulans are biological cousins of Vulcans, as they are descended from those who rejected Surak's reforms during the Time of Awakening. The Romulan Star Empire is the Romulan state and one of the major powers in known space.


How the Romulans Came To Be

Sargon's people colonized Vulcan some six million years ago. Sargon believed that Humans and Vulcans (and therefore also Romulans) might even be descendants of their early travelers. Actually, most humanoid creatures were descendants of the Ancient Humanoids.

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, instead choosing to ‘march beneath the Raptor’s wings’. They departed Vulcan in the 4th century; their descendants, believed to be the now-extinct Debrune, establishing settlements on the planets Calder II, Dessica II, Draken IV, Yadalla Prime and Barradas III. At some point, another group settled on twin planets that became known as Romulus and Remus. The capital of Romulus was named Rom’a’losh, meaning Raptor’s Nest. While Romulus was a class M planet, Remus was a harsh planet notable only for its dilithium deposits. These two worlds were the foundation of an interstellar empire that expanded to many worlds, reaching across much of the Beta Quadrant. Eventually that power came to be known as the Romulan Star Empire.

First Contact and the Earth-Romulan War

First contact with Humans occurred in the 22nd century, which led to the Earth-Romulan War. However, face-to-face contact did not occur until the mid 23rd century. Even after the war, Romulans acted aggressive towards Humans and their allies.

During the beginning of the 24th century, some Romulans had become slightly friendlier with other races. They would take part in collaborative actions with the Klingon Empire. However, in the following decades, Romulans began to continue making aggressive actions against the Klingon Empire, starting with an attack on Narendra III in 2344 and the infamous Khitomer Massacre. All the while, secret dealings with certain members of the Klingon Empire would continue almost towards the end of the 24th century.

Near Extinction

In 2378, the Romulan Star Empire asked for peace with the Federation, but this was later revealed to be a ruse by Reman Praetor Shinzon. The two sides would see a relative cease-fire for the next eight years. In 2387, the Hobus star was on the verge of supernova. The Federation became involved in the crisis when it was discovered that the star had the potential to wipe out the majority of life in the Alpha Quadrant. Despite their best efforts, the star went supernova; however, the blast was contained via red matter detonation. But it was too late: the explosion destroyed Romulus and Remus, as well as 94% of the Romulan race. The Romulan Star Empire, therefore, had collapsed along with the Treaty of Algeron. Interphase cloaking devices were soon installed into many Federation starships. Many of the remaining Romulans, blamed the Federation for the destruction of Romulus. Over the years following 2387, the Romulans continued to be an endangered species. Some races sought vengeance upon them for atrocities caused over a hundred years ago, and some began falling prey to xenophobic Federation officers.

By the early-25th century, they were almost on the verge of extinction until a small group of survivors from the Narada had come from an alternate prime universe of the past into the Prime future Universe to save their people. They were discovered by Nox, another survivor - only from the 24th century prime universe - who eventually left his post entirely to be with his people and to give them hope for a new future.

Joining the Federation

In 2414, the remaining Romulans decided to join the Federation. They were given permission to colonize certain parts of Mars or return to Vulcan. Most Romulans chose Mars. By the late 26th century, the race was no longer considered endangered. But still, some Romulans refused to make peace with the Federation, and have colonized their own planets.

Romulans in the Mirror Universe

The Romulans have no part to play in the mirror universe of the Terran Empire and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, though it is believed that their homeworld Romulus still exists. The reason that the Romulans do not exist in this universe is clear: the Earth-Romulan war, or as it is called in the mirror universe, the Terran-Romulan War. During this time, the USS Defiant, under the command of Empress Sato, led the Terran Empire's fleet to victory against the outnumbered and outgunned Romulan Star Empire. For good measure, she turned the Defiant on Romulus and Remus, devastating both worlds, killing the inhabitants and destroying all habitable areas for the next hundred years. The last of the Romulans committed suicide rather than become slaves to the Terran Empire.


Like Vulcans, Romulans have pointed ears, eyebrows that are arched and upswept, and copper-based blood that is green when oxygenated in the arteries, or copper or rust-colored when deoxygenated in the veins. Most Romulans have 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. These "browless" Romulans appear to be confined to the 23rd century. Despite their common ancestry there are also many subtle internal physiological differences between Vulcans and Romulans. This is evidenced in Dr. Beverly Crusher's treated Romulan, Patahk, suffered advanced synaptic breakdown. Romulans lack the rigorous mental disciplines developed by the followers of Surak. They are a passionate people, easily moved to extreme emotions. There believe structure discipline would seem to explain why Romulans lack the telepathic abilities that Vulcans possess. There have been numerous instances of Romulans successfully mating with other species, as evidenced in Sela (Human/Romulan), Ba'el (Klingon/Romulan), and the grandfather of Simon Tarses (Human/Romulan). General Korrd indicates in a conversation with Caithlin Dar that Romulan women may have a unique anatomical makeup, although such comments are never substantiated. While Vulcans possess much greater physical strength than most humanoids, Romulans are roughly equal to Humans in their strength (though some are known to be somewhat stronger). The Terothka virus is a disease unique to Romulan physiology. Romulans are also susceptible to Tuvan Syndrome.

The Mark of the Raptor Theory

Donatra (romulan Commander)

Donatra (2379), with a V-ridge

According to Nox, a Romulan, the V-shape brow ridge on the forehead of the majority of Romulans is a "religious" marking that dates back to the time of their separation from Vulcans. The legend, according to Nox states that, to distinguish themselves from their logical cousins, Romulan fanatics would manipulate the genetic code of their offspring, giving them the V-shape brow ridge: signifying that they were "under the Raptor's wings". After a time, the "Mark" became voluntary, but most families were so willing to separate themselves from the Vulcans that they gladly encouraged their children to become "marked."

Ayel romulan

Ayel (24th century Romulan in 2258), ridgeless

A certain number of Romulans, however, believed that their separation from the Vulcans was emotional, and therefore it required no mark. These "unmarked" were originally shunned from the upper echelons of Romulan society, until the Earth-Romulan War called for spies that could physically blend in with the Vulcans, who were both allies and members of the Federation. This worked, and the "unmarked" Romulans had more encounters with the Federation prior to 2300 than ever before.

Such "unmarked" Romulans became less and less numerous in the 24th century, but they were not altogether removed.


In Romulan society, military/political rank influences social standing. Because Romulans are members of a militant civilization, who consider defending the Romulan Empire and their own personal honor of foremost importance, military service and its accompanying rank are decisive factors in determining social eminence. (TOS: "Balance of Terror") However, while the military plays an important role in Romulan society, it is the Romulan Senate that controls the government. The current highest Romulan rank is that of the Praetor, who presides over the Senate and acts as chief of the executive branch. The Praetor heads the Continuing Committee, which is comprised of the Empire's most elite individuals, which make decisions of the utmost importance. At one point in Romulan history, their society was ruled by an Empress. Q never explained what he meant by "Romulan Empress". It is possible, given Q's demonstrated ability to travel through time, that this was a position that existed in the past and no longer does. It may also be a figurehead position with no real power, however, no relativistically "modern" references indicated such an individual. By the 24th century, the government of Romulus is dependent upon the Tal Shiar, the Romulan Secret Police, to maintain order and stability among both civilians and the military. The Tal Shiar is known for its brutal tactics, which include routine kidnapping, torture, and assassination. Many Romulans fear even expressing dissenting opinions as not to spark the interest of the Tal Shiar. There also seems to be some degree of tension between the military and the Tal Shiar. Romulan society is based upon a highly structured caste system. Unlike most of the highly evolved species in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, Romulans still practice slavery, and frequently take them to the catacombs forced slave labor camps and shock troops. Romulans tend to be highly xenophobic, and they have be warned about engaging in extended periods of isolationism, and can be perceived as outright racist to other species, believing themselves to be superior. At least some Romulans believe that one day the Romulan Empire will rule the entire galaxy. Romulan society does not appear to be gender biased. Both males and females command warships, can obtain high political positions and can be members of the Tal Shiar.

Romulans were aware of Humanity for some time before Earth knew of them. Infiltrating the highest levels of the Vulcan High Command, the Romulans were impressed and confused by Humans. The Enterprise NX-01 inadvertently encountered a Romulan minefield at one point, drawing even more Romulan attention. Even after fighting the Earth-Romulan War, it wasn't until the 23rd century that Humans saw them. After the Treaty of Algeron went into effect, the Romulans retreated into isolation once again, but they never lost their fascination with Humanity. After an attack by the Borg on a Romulan outpost, which they initially suspected the Federation of committing, the Romulans resurfaced. 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.

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 are arguably the species that Klingon society in general despises most of all. 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") Romulan and Cardassian agents in the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order cooperated in an attempted attack on the Dominion. (DS9: "Improbable Cause", "The Die is Cast") The Romulans had certainly cut ties with the Cardassians by the time they entered in to the Dominion War, but when their relationship ended prior to this is unclear. One common saying among the Romulans is "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 seems to suggest there is some degree of unfriendly history between the two. The species that Romulans seem to dislike most, however, are Vulcans, and this feud goes back many centuries. The two powers once fought in a war that lasted 100 years, that was ignited due to a misunderstanding created by one of Q's self-destructive stunts. The two species would remain 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. However, it is now known that Romulans had infiltrated various positions of the Vulcan High Command in the 22nd century. How long they had been in these positions is somewhat unclear, as is how this came about in the first place. The exact date, or even a reasonable timeframe, of the Vulcan/Romulan split it very unclear, though it certainly happened some time after Surak's teaching were introduced, which, on the Earth calendar, would be 4th century AD or so.

In the mirror universe, the Romulans appeared to be uninvolved in the conflict between the Terran Rebellion and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Benjamin Sisko, posing as mirror Benjamin Sisko, indicated to Jennifer Sisko that he was going to visit the Romulans to see if he could get their support. This was, in reality, a ruse to explain his return to Deep Space 9.

Culture and tradition

The Romulans lack the rigorous mental disciplines developed by the followers of Surak. Like the Vulcans, the Romulans have given up unrestrained violence as a way of life. However, in the case of the Romulans this has been replaced with a diverged deviousness when faced with critical choices: As a species the Romulans are generally thought of as duplicitous, a reputation the actions of their government over the last decade has reinforced. During the 23rd century, Romulans practiced the execution of state criminals, by means both painful and unpleasant. Prior to the presenting of the charges, the Romulans allow the accused a Right of Statement. Reluctance to rely on overt hostility generally leads 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. They are also well known for fearing disgrace over death. With this frame of mind, Romulan parents dispose of any newborn carrying birth defects as the alternative would mean a waste of resources. The totalitarian nature of Romulan society, in which dissent is often a crime and Romulan security officers masquerade as citizens, has led many Romulans to be extremely paranoid. A common Romulan courtesy is the saying "Jolan Tru", although what exactly this means is unclear, as it is used both in context of greeting and goodbye. In the 24th century, a dissident movement began to gain momentum, based on the desire to learn about Vulcan and Vulcan ideals. Their ultimate goal was the reunification of Romulus and Vulcan. Ambassador Spock was deeply involved in this movement.It is unclear what has become of this movement in the aftermath of Shinzon's failed uprising on Romulus.

While many arguably belligerent and militaristic species, such as Nausicaans, Breen, and even Klingons often sell their fighting skills to the highest bidder, Romulans are rarely, if ever, seen involved in such activities. This is possibly due to the apparent superiority complex of most Romulans, many of whom would likely find such work beneath them, and would prefer to serve the Romulan Empire in some capacity. However, Miles O'Brien once played a game of Tongo with a Romulan mercenary.

Foods and Beverages

The Romulans are famous for their noodles.

Romulan ale is prohibited in Federation territories.

See also

External Links

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