Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia


The Romulans, a fictional race in the Star Trek universe, are descended from Vulcans and are characterized as being deceitful, cunning, and treacherous. They are the principle species of the Romulan Star Empire, one of the larger empires in the Beta Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy.

As the original Star Trek series was written during the Cold War, the Romulans were written to resemble the opinion of the Americans of that time towards the Chinese government and made their first appearance in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror".



As an offshoot of the Vulcan race, Romulans have pointed ears, upswept eyebrows, and green blood. In addition, many have a small V-shaped ridge above the bridge of their nose. They generally have dark hair as well.



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 cheeckbones; this style resembles a helmet.


Romulans make generous use of the color green. 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 with their Bird of Prey starships, and may have cultural significance.

Society and Government

It has been implied that Romulans use a caste system.

There is an apparent similarity to the Roman Empire of ancient Earth. Romulus and Remus both figure promimently in Roman mythology as the founders of the city of Rome. Additionally, the Romulan military and government have rank names apparently derived from that of the Roman Empire: Proconsul, Praetor, Senator.

The Romulan term for either heaven or paradise is "Vortavor".

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 confirm the new praetor.



  • Neral (2375-?)
  • Hiren (?-2379)
  • Shinzon (2379)


  • Pardek
  • Kimara Cretak
  • Vreenak (deceased)
  • Tal'aura


  • Vice Procounsul M'ret (defected to the Federation in 2370)


Romulans are noted for their use of disruptor weapons, cloaking technology, as well as having ships that are powered by singularities.

In the alternate Star Fleet Universe, the Romulans of the early 23rd century were reliant on older series vessles converted to carry primitive warp engines until the Treaty of Smarba with the Klingon Empire in Y159 supplied the Romulans with advanced warp engines and a number of mothballed Klingon vessels, which were refitted with Romulan weaponry and cloaking devices. This technology allowed the Romulans to develop a new series of vessels which proved to cause significant headaches to the enemies of the Star Empire in the General War.



The Romulan species is a splinter group of Vulcans who refused to accept the Vulcan philosopher Surak's teachings of complete suppression of emotions. Around 400 CE, the group split off from Vulcan society and established a new society on the planet Romulus and conquering the native Remans on their homeworld, Remus.

In the mid 1900s the Romulans and Vulcans entered into a war, which lasted until 2044. Later, in 2152, humans made first contact with the Romulans; four years later, the Earth-Romulan War began.

In 2160 the Romulans and the humans signed a treaty establishing a neutral zone one light-year wide between their territories. In 2161 humans, along with Vulcans and several other species, founded the United Federation of Planets, which continued this wary peace.

23rd Century

The Romulans invented a technology, called a cloaking device, which made their ships invisible to sensors. Using a cloaked ship, the Romulans broke the treaty of 2161 by attacking several Federation outposts circa stardate 1709.21 in 2266. In response, the USS Enterprise(NCC-1701) tracked down the cloaked Romulan ship and destroyed it.

In 2267, the Romulans entered a treaty with the Klingon Empire: in exchange for cloaking technology, the Romulans received several D7 battlecruisers, which were upgraded into extremely deadly war machines. (The basis for this alliance was grounded in real-world economics: the script of the episode "The Enterprise Incident" called for a Romulan ship to appear, but the original Romulan ship model was not available; rather than go to the expense of building a new one, the Klingon D7 model was substituted.)

However, this alliance broke down a few years later, with skirmishes between the two powers building animosities. The Battle of Klact D'Kel Bract was a noted turning point in relations between the two.

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 alongside several other conspirators.

24th Century


The Romulans are a traditional adversary of the Federation and of the Klingon Empire. In 2311, the Romulans attacked the Federation, in an event that would later be termed the Tomed Incident. Little is known about the incident, in which thousands of lives were lost. It is rumoured that the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) was also involved somehow. Following some brief skirmishes the Romulans and the Federation signed a new treaty, the Treaty of Algeron, which reemphasised the neutral zone and prohibited the Federation from developing cloaking technology. 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 of the new 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 Lieutenant Tasha Yar) 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, which strengthened relations between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, and also initiated a Romulan-Klingon war around the 2350s.

Circa stardate 41986.0 in 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 then said that the Romulans had decided to concentrate on their own internal affairs for the past fifty years. He then said, "We are back," indicating that Romulans would again be active in galactic affairs.

Attempted Conquests

In 2366 the Romulans attempted to trick the Enterprise-D into crossing the neutral zone, where two Romulan Warbirds were waiting to destroy the Enterprise. Captain Picard, however, was assisted by three Klingon Birds of Prey (K'vort class); the Romulans, 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 LaForge of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) in an attempt to incite a Federation-Klingon war, but the plan was exposed and failed. ("The Mind's Eye")

Later in 2367, during the Klingon Civil War, the Romulans secretly backed the House of Duras. Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard, discovering this, convinced pro-Federation leader Gowron to attack Duras's 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 Duras, exposed as a traitor, lost all support. ("Redemption, Part I")

Circa stardate 44995.3 in late 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. ("Reunification")

Sometime in 2374, a 27 member Tal Shiar team commanded by Commander Rekar hijacked the USS Prometheus (NX-74913), an advanced prototype starship to be analyzed by the Tal Shiar. Two Emergency Medical Holograms, one being from the USS Voyager, overthrew the Tal Shiar crew and the ship returned to Federation hands.

Dominion War

In 2371 the Federation obtained a Romulan cloaking device, under the condition that it be used exclusively in the Gamma Quadrant against the emerging threat of the Jem'Hadar and the Dominion. ("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 20 Warbirds and 20 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")

Soon after, as the Dominion War began. The Romulans entered the Dominion War allied with the Federation and Klingons, but soon after signed a non-aggression treaty with the Dominion and withdrew.

Circa stardate 51721.3 in late 2374, Starfleet Captain Benjamin Sisko and Elim Garak tried to trick the Romulans into joining the war against the Dominion by creating fake recordings of a Dominion strategy meeting in which the Dominion revealed their intention to conquer the Romulans along with the Klingons and Federation, and showing them to a high-ranking Romulan senator, Vreenak. In the past, Vreenak 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 Garak sabotaged his shuttle and he was killed. 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 officer Colonel Kira Nerys, with the assistance of Starfleet Admiral William Ross, forced the Romulans to back down and remove their weapons. ("Shadows and Symbols")

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 was ended. ("What You Leave Behind")

Reman Coup

Circa stardate 56844.9 in 2379, the Romulan Senate was briefly overthrown in a Reman uprising led by Shinzon. After Praetor Hiren and the senior Romulan leadership were assassinated in the Romulan Senate, Shinzon became Praetor and the Remans took over the Senate; he was, however, despatched by Captain Picard shortly after his rise to power. Relations between the Romulan Star Empire and the United Federation of Planets improved somewhat as a result of Picard's assistance. ("Star Trek: Nemesis")

History in the Star Fleet Universe

In the alternate Star Fleet Universe, the Romulans had a long-standing rivalry with the Gorn Confederation, with the old series Romulan ships no match against the advanced Gorn warships. The post-Smarba KR(old Klingon vessels sold to the Romulans and converted to Romulan technology) and new series fleets, along with the extensively refitted older vessels, were of a far more dangerous order of magnitude and soon found ample opportnity for combat when the Romulans joined the Coalition on the Day of the Eagle, 4 January Y173 by invading the already-besieged Federation, after the Klingon Ambassador Thad Vak Kaleen persuaded the Romulans to enter the General War, and sweetened the deal with a C9-series Klingon dreadnought. They were eventually driven back to their own borders despite significant advances into Federation space, and suffered a devastating nuclear winter on the world of Remus.

After the General War, the Romulan empire erupted in Civil War, had their border stations destroyed in the course of the ISC War of Pacification and subsequently aided in resisting the Andromedan invasion of the galaxy from Y188 to Y205.

Romulan Star Empire

Planets known to be under Romulan jurisdiction include Romulus, Remus and Regulus.


The author Diane Duane has written a number of novels about the genesis and culture of the Romulan people, chief among which are The Romulan Way and My Enemy, My Ally. Duane introduced the name by which the Romulans call themselves, Rihannsu. Duane developed a Romulan language in these novels, but it is not considered canon and has not been used in any of the Star Trek series or films.

See Also

External Links

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45