Romulan Star Empire

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One of the most powerful nations in known space, the Romulan Star Empire (sometimes simply referred to as the Romulan Empire) is the modern Romulan state. It was founded as a result of the settlement of Romulus by dissident Vulcans approximately 2,000 years ago, and existed at least as early as 2153, when it made first contact with United Earth. The Romulan Star Empire is well known for its xenophobic and expansionist policies.

Department of Romulan Affairs

Please visit the Department of Romulan Affairs for detailed information from the perspective of the Rihannsu Stelam Shiar (Romulan Star Empire).


The Romulan Star Empire was founded on Romulus by renegade Vulcans who dismissed Surak's teachings and left their homeworld during what was called the Vulcan Time of Awakening.

In the 2150s the Romulan Star Empire came into contact with the rapidly expanding human sphere of influence. First contact came when the NX class starship Enterprise wandered into a Romulan minefield, sustaining significant damage. A pair of Romulan vessels then forced the starship to leave the area, despite having a mine still attached to its hull.

Secretly, the Romulans were manipulating the political atmosphere on Vulcan in 2154 and perhaps earlier. A part of this scheme centered Vulcan launching a surprise attack on Andoria, which would somehow contribute to the larger objective of re-uniting Romulans and Vulcans. Administrator V'Las collaborated with the Romulans in this plot. The involvement of the Romulans in the aborted Vulcan-Andorian war was not discovered at the time. The Romulans have also tried to destabalize relations between Andoria and Tellar by launching a drone ship. The drone ship was later destroyed by the Enterprise.

Relations between humans and Romulans continued to be poor, and eventually a brief but intense war resulted in the late 2150s. This war, which is today known as the Earth-Romulan War, was fought entirely in space, without any kind of personal or visual interaction between the two sides. After the war ended in 2160 an area of neutral space was created to prevent further conflict between the powers. Entry by either side into this Romulan Neutral Zone constituted an act of war.

During the 23rd century, the Star Empire formed a formal alliance with the Klingon Empire, which not only led to an exchange of technologies, including the Romulan cloaking device and the Klingon D7 class battlecruiser, but also meant a fundamental shift of power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. However, this alliance did not last long and soon the two powers entered a state of 'cold war', including the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt, the Battle of Narendra III and the Khitomer Massacre. It is since then that Romulans and Klingons call each other blood enemies.

Romulans had never been seen face to face by humans or Vulcans until 2266, long after the Earth-Romulan War was ended, when a Romulan Bird of Prey penetrated the Neutral Zone to test Federation defenses. Although the ship was destroyed by the USS Enterprise, this action marked a long period of 'cold war' between the two powers. Eventually this culminated in the Tomed Incident of 2311, when thousands of lives were lost. The incident led to the Treaty of Algeron, which forbade the Federation from developing cloaking technology and reaffirmed the existence of the Romulan Neutral Zone between the two powers. Subsequent to this the Romulans cut off all contact with the Federation.

Although the Starship USS Enterprise-C engaged several Romulan vessels attacking the Narendra III outpost in 2344 and there were other unofficial contacts, in general the Romulans maintained their isolation until 2364. At this point a Romulan warbird entered Federation space to investigate the loss of several of their border outposts. Although it later emerged that the Borg were responsible for the destruction, the Romulans announced at this time that they would again take a more active role in interstellar relations. They acted in opposition to the Federation for some years, until the emergence of the Dominion threat in 2370. The Romulans responded by allowing the Federation to use one of their cloaking devices on the USS Defiant in order to allow it to operate in the Gamma Quadrant. Later they would acquiese to amending the Treaty of Algeron, allowing all Federation starships to be equipped with Romulan built cloaking devices.

Subsequently the Romulan Tal Shiar launched a joint attack on the Dominion with the Cardassian Obsidian Order. The attack failed utterly, devastating the Romulan and Cardassian fleets. After this the Romulan government signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. The Romulans reneged on this treaty after a successful intelligence operation conducted by Captain Benjamin Sisko, joining forces with the Federation-Klingon alliance in the war against the Dominion.

Although the Romulans fought in the latter part of the Dominion War alongside the Federation and the Klingons, relations were anything but amicable. The Federation was the only thing that kept the Romulans and Klingons from fighting with each other and although the Romulans proved cooperative allies to the Federation both knew another battle for influence in the Alpha Quadrant would follow once the war ended. As a result espionage and counter-intelligence were rampant, and at one point a crisis involving Bajor nearly shattered the alliance.

The three powers remained allies long enough to defeat the Dominion, but shortly thereafter, there was something of a political upheaval on Romulus. Shinzon, a clone of Captain Picard created as part of a Romulan intelligence operation, had been exiled to Remus early in his life. He started to gain a considerable following, becoming a highly respected military leader during the Dominion War. In late 2379, the Praetor and most of the Romulan Senate were killed in an attempted coup d'état by Shinzon and the Remans. They plotted to destroy Earth but the attempt was foiled by Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise-E.

Political Ideology

Romulan political ideology is shrouded in mystery. Generally imperialistic, the Romulans exhibit an odd mixture of liberal and fascist tendencies. The goal tends toward strengthening and maintaining an empire in which many planets and people, spread over a wide geographical area, are controlled by one dominant state.

The Romulan public seems to have certain civil rights unlike the oppressive caste system forced upon the Remans.


The Romulan Star Empire is ruled by the Romulan Senate, which is overseen by the Praetor. The Continuing Committee is another powerful government body the preator presides over. In the past, the Romulan Star Empire was headed by an emperor.

The Senate represents an oligarchy. Like an authoritarian system, an oligarchy is controlled by a small group of individuals, who govern mainly in their own interest. In contrast with authoritarians, however, the Romulans do not seem to oppress individual freedoms to a great degree; however, relatively little is known about the Romulan civil legal system.

The political structure of the Romulan Star Empire is unknown but it seems to be unitary, since the central governments holds all power.

The Romulan Senate has dispatched ambassadors from time to time, including Caithlin Dar to the Planet of Galactic Peace and Nanclus to the United Federation of Planets.


The Romulan military is a powerful force in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Despite being defeated by Earth in the Earth-Romulan War of the 2150s, the Romulan 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. Their entry into the war in 2374 turned the tide of war in favor of the Allies.

Romulan military operations are supported and planned by the War Plans Council, a high-level government agency.

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.


The Romulan Ministry of Science oversees the scientific research of the Romulan Star Empire. The Romulan Astrophysical Academy is division within the Romulan science community.