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The Romulans, a fictional race in the Star Trek universe, are descended from Vulcans. They are characterized as being deceitful, cunning, and brutal. The Romulans comprise the Romulan Star Empire, one of the largest nations 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. Romulans made their first appearance in the episode "Balance of Terror".

Warning: Plot details follow.


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



Romulan fashion of the 24th century had distinctive prominent shoulders, squared off. 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


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 motief is also seen of their Bird of Prey starships, and may have cultural significance.


It has been implied that Romulans use a caste system.

There is an apparently unintentional 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. In the original series episode Who Mourns for Adonais?, it is revealed that the classical Greek Gods were in reality powerful aliens who visited Earth during that time.

It has been suggested that these aliens had in fact visited a number of worlds — including Vulcan — in the distant past. The aliens had shared their culture with the primitive peoples found on those worlds. As a result, cultures on a number of different worlds had surprising similarities.


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



The Romulan species is actually 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 colonies in the Romulus system on the planets Romulus and 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

About a century later the Romulans invented a new technology, called a cloaking device, which made their ships invisible to sensors. Using a cloaked ship, the Romulans broke the treaty of 2160 by attacking several Federation outposts. In response, the Starship Enterprise tracked down the cloaked Romulan ship and destroyed it.

Several years later, 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.)

24th Century


In 2311, the Romulans attacked the Federation. Following some brief skirmishes the Romulans and the Federation signed a new treaty, the
Treaty of Algeron, which reestablished the neutral zone and prohibited the Federation from developing cloaking technology. For the next fifty years, the Netural 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 Enterprise-C responded to the outpost's distress call and engaged the Romulan ships, but was defeated and taken with its survivors (among them 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 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, which lasted several years. The Romulans eventually launched a raid on Qo'nos and destroyed 5 K'vort class birds of prey, 10 Vorch'a Battle Cruisers, and 7 B'rel class birds of prey while only losing 5 Warbirds.

In 2364, the Romulan Empire ended its decades of silence when the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise 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 Federation lieutenant commander Geordi LaForge in an attempt to incite 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. Federation Captain Picard, discovering this, convinced Federation-friendly 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 blockade, and Duras, exposed as a traitor, lost all support. ("Redemption, Part I")

Around 2368, the Vulcan Ambassador Spock was 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. ("Unification")

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.

In 2374 Federation Captain Sisko and 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. 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. ("In the Pale Moonlight")

In 2375, after joining the Klingon-Federation alliance, the Romulans established a presence on Deep Space Nine and secretly began stockpiling weapons on a Bajoran moon. However, Bajoran Colonel Kira, with the assistance of Starfleet Admiral Ross, forced the Romulans to back down and remove their weapons. ("Shadows and Symbols")

In 2375 Section 31 attempted to assassinate Koval, the new head of the Tal Shiar. This plot was foiled by Julian Bashir, who was being used by Section 31 as a spy, with the assistance of Romulan Senator Cretak. ("Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Later in 2375 the Federation-Romulan-Klingon 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

In 2379 the Romulan Senate was briefly overthrown in a Reman uprising led by Shinzon. After the Praetor and senators were killed, Shinzon became Praetor and the Remans took over the Senate; he was, however, overthrown by Captain Picard, who returned the government to the Romulans. Relations between the Romulan Star Empire and the United Federation of Planets improved somewhat because of Picard's assistance. ("")

Romulan Star Empire

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


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 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.

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