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Romulan history

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Romulan emblem, 2268

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire (2268)

Romulan Star Empire logo

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire (2368)

Romulan Star Empire logo, 2379

Emblem of the Romulan Star Empire (2379)

Romulan history describes the rise of an Empire from a group of Vulcan fugitives.

Early historyEdit

AtomicBomb

An atomic bomb explodes during the Time of Awakening on Vulcan

Vulcans were once an extremely violent and emotional people, waging almost constant warfare upon one another. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; ENT: "The Forge") As their technology improved, the Vulcans eventually reached a point where their violent nature threatened the extinction of their species. (ENT: "Awakening"; TNG: "Gambit, Part II") Around 370 AD, the philosopher Surak led his people in a great reformation to embrace logic and pacifism. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain") One group, known as "those who march beneath the Raptor's wings", rejected Surak's teachings and fought against his followers. These dissidents would become the future Romulans. (TNG: "Gambit, Part II"; ENT: "Awakening")

Several non-canon Pocket Books novels, predominantly The Romulan Way, discuss the Romulan migration as being led by a Vulcan named S'Task, a follower of Surak who turned away from Surak's teachings and left Vulcan in the 3rd century.
Romulus2379

Romulus, the Romulan homeworld and capital planet of the Romulan Star Empire

Around 470 AD, the dissident Vulcans left their homeworld. During their travels, some of their number split away to form the Debrune civilization, which became extinct long before the 24th century. (TNG: "Gambit, Part I") The dissidents eventually settled on two planets named Romulus and Remus, and took on the identity of Romulans. (TNG: "Unification I")

In several non-canon Pocket Books novels, "Romulus" and "Romulan" are actually the appellations given to them and their world by the Federation; the Romulans refer to their own race as the "Rihannsu."

At some point after the establishment of the Empire, the Romulans fought a century-long war with the Vulcans. Q would later reveal that the conflict was instigated by one of Quinn's "self-destructive stunts". (VOY: "Death Wish")

22nd centuryEdit

Romulan bird-of-prey, ENT-aft, cloaking

A Bird-of-Prey pursues the Enterprise NX-01 in 2152 after it violated Romulan territory.

The Empire's first recorded contact with Humans occurred in 2152. The Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01, discovered a planet recently annexed by the Romulans, and was damaged by a cloaked spatial mine, part of a minefield surrounding the planet. A Bird-of-Prey warned the Enterprise off without a further exchange of fire. (ENT: "Minefield")

Talok

A deep-cover agent within the Vulcan High Command, Major Talok tried to facilitate an early re-unification of Romulus and Vulcan in 2154.

A collaboration with Administrator V'Las of the Vulcan High Command was part of a decades-long effort to "reunify" the Romulan and Vulcan "cousins", presumably under Romulan rule. However, a group of Vulcans named Syrrannites followed the logical teachings of Surak and were a threat to the Romulan plans of reunification. Secretly working with a Romulan deep-cover agent within the Vulcan High Command known as Major Talok, V'Las framed the Syrranites for the destruction of the United Earth Embassy on Vulcan. The conspiracy ultimately led to the nearly-disastrous Battle of Andoria between Vulcan and the Andorian Empire in 2154. However, V'Las was eventually identified as being behind the bombings and was deposed. (ENT: "The Forge", "Kir'Shara")

Romulan drone-ships near Romulus

Two Romulan drone-ships in 2154.

As it was mainly due to the Earth starship Enterprise NX-01 and its crew that the Romulan plot was thwarted, it became more evident for the Star Empire that the Humans were rising as a regional power. United Earth practiced a mediating, even unifying, influence on its neighbors so the prospect of an alliance contrary to Romulan interests led to their covert attempts to destabilize the region and the fragile peace. Therefore, the Romulans precipitated the "Babel Crisis" by deploying telepresence-operated drone-ships equipped with chameleon-like camouflage systems. Though briefly wreaking havoc on regional shipping and diplomacy, the Romulan effort ultimately failed. A temporary alliance of Human, Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite starships thwarted the drone-ship threat, prompting closer diplomatic relations that eventually led to the Coalition of Planets. (ENT: "Babel One", "United", "The Aenar", "Demons")

Relations between Romulans and United Earth deteriorated into open war in the following years. Beginning in 2156, the Earth-Romulan War was fought without any kind of personal or visual interaction between the two sides, preventing Humans or allies from fully understanding the nature of their opponent. Following a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Cheron in 2160, the Romulans agreed to a treaty establishing a Neutral Zone between the Star Empire's sphere of influence and territory that would fall under the jurisdiction of the soon to be formed United Federation of Planets. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "The Defector")

For the next century, Romulans isolated themselves from Human and Federation affairs. However, they remained very active within their own sphere of influence, fighting a number of campaigns, the nature of which is unknown. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

That the Romulans continued an aggressive military program after the end of the Earth-Romulan war is indicated by elements shown in "Balance of Terror". The Romulan commander, as portrayed by Mark Lenard, is depicted as war-weary and even states as much to his friend, the Centurian. At another point, the Centurian notes that he and the Commander "have fought a hundred campaigns together", again indicating that all was not peaceful behind the Neutral Zone.

23rd centuryEdit

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RomulanCommander2266

The Bird-of-Prey commander in 2266

In 2266, the Empire emerged from seclusion to test the strength of its old enemy. The Romulan Praetor ordered his finest flagship, a Bird-of-Prey led by an experienced commander, to violate the Neutral Zone and attack the Federation's observation outposts that lined the border in Sector Z-6.

Equipped with a cloak and a powerful new plasma torpedo system, the Bird-of-Prey easily annihilated its targets. A victorious homecoming, revealing Federation weaknesses, would have aroused the Empire to another war, but the marauding Romulan vessel was intercepted and defeated by the USS Enterprise before success could be reported.

The incident marked the Federation's first confirmed visual observation of the Vulcan-like Romulan appearance. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

During this era, many lower-ranking members of Romulan ship crews wore distinctive helmets, and were seen to stand, rather than sit, at their posts. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

In the face of Federation strength, the Empire vigilantly patrolled their side of the zone. Further encounters with Starfleet's Constitution-class starships were countered by squadrons of up to ten Birds-of-Prey to better the odds.

A brief but ultimately unsuccessful thawing in relations occurred in 2267 between the Romulan Star Empire, the Klingon Empire, and the Federation, with the founding of a jointly-managed colony on Nimbus III. Dubbed the "planet of galactic peace," the colony quickly became an embarrassing failure for all three governments, although regular meetings between representatives did take place at the colony for at least the next twenty years. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

In 2268, a devastating polaric ion device explosion resulted in the destruction of a Romulan research colony on Chaltok IV. Following this incident, the Star Empire, together with the Federation, signed the Polaric Test Ban Treaty, banning research on polaric energy on both sides. (VOY: "Time and Again")

Also in 2268, Starfleet violated established treaties by ordering the USS Enterprise to pass through the Romulan Neutral Zone into Romulan space, where its crew confronted three Romulan ships and returned with both a Romulan cloaking device and a captured Romulan commander. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

Romulan flagship, TEI remastered

A product of the short-lived Romulan-Klingon Alliance: A Romulan D7 class battle cruiser equipped with cloaking technology

After a technology exchange with the Klingon Empire, the first Romulan D7 class design battle cruisers began appearing along the zone by 2268. This Romulan-Klingon Alliance had come to an end by 2271, however, when the Romulans suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt (the "Briar Patch") at the hands of Klingon forces led by Kor. By 2292, Romulans and Klingons regarded each other as "blood enemies". (TOS: "The Deadly Years", "The Enterprise Incident"; TNG: "Reunion"; DS9: "Blood Oath"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

Statements in "Balance of Terror" and Star Trek: Insurrection suggest that the Romulans acquired warp drive in the 23rd century. However, this is contradicted by onscreen depictions in Star Trek: Enterprise of warp-capable Romulan vessels in the 22nd century.

By the mid-2280s, Romulans had lost their virtual monopoly as the region's best stealth technologists when cloaking devices began seeing service on Klingon vessels. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

As the Klingons and Federation began détente in 2293, the Romulans attempted diplomatic subterfuge through Ambassador Nanclus' role in the Khitomer conspiracy – yet another failing effort. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

24th centuryEdit

Intermittent hostilities between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation continued into the 24th century. A notable example was the Norkan Campaign led by Admiral Alidar Jarok, which the Federation considered to be a massacre. (TNG: "The Defector"). In 2311, the Tomed Incident between the Romulans and the Federation cost thousands of lives and led to the Treaty of Algeron, which set the foundation for a lasting period of peace. The Treaty forbade the Federation from developing cloaking technology and clarified that violations of the Romulan Neutral Zone without adequate notification, by either side, would be considered an act of war. The Empire subsequently returned to a policy of isolation from the Federation, turning their attention to expanding their borders elsewhere. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "The Defector", "The Pegasus")

D'deridex class

A D'deridex-class warbird in 2364. The D'deridex-class was one of the most common Romulan ship designs during the 2nd half of the 24th century

The Romulans began emerging from their isolation in 2364. First, a Federation border outpost reported that seven Romulan battle cruisers had entered sensor range, prompting a response by the USS Berlin. (TNG: "Angel One") Later that year, a warbird under Commander Tebok was dispatched to investigate the mysterious destruction of border outposts along either side of the Neutral Zone. Tebok confronted Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-D on the Federation side of the Neutral Zone. It was determined that neither side had been responsible for the attacks, which unknown at the time were caused by the Borg. The Empire subsequently resumed an active, oppositional interest in Federation affairs. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")

In 2366, the Romulan scoutship Pi crash-landed on Galorndon Core in Federation space. The Enterprise investigated the wreck and initially rescued one survivor, Patahk. Commander Tomalak, claiming the crash of the Pi to be an accident, demanded Patahk's return and eventually crossed the Neutral Zone to retrieve him. The incident nearly escalated to war after Patahk died of his injuries, but was defused after the Enterprise recovered and repatriated a second Romulan survivor, Centurion Bochra. (TNG: "The Enemy")

Later that year, the Neutral Zone was again violated by a scoutship piloted by Admiral Alidar Jarok. Jarok's intent was to defect to the Federation, so as to avert an impending Romulan invasion that was to be launched from a secret base on Nelvana III. Jarok had in fact been a victim of a misinformation campaign by Tomalak, who aimed to expose him as a traitor and lure the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone so that it could be captured. With the timely intervention of hidden Klingon reinforcements, the Enterprise was able to withdraw from the situation. (TNG: "The Defector")

Klingon conflictsEdit

See also: Battle of Narendra III, Khitomer Massacre, Klingon Civil War

The relationship between the Romulan and Klingon Empires was effectively a decades-long "hot" and "cold" war between bitterly antagonistic peoples, in spite of periods of titular alliance between the two powers. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone") In 2344, four Romulan warbirds attacked the Klingon outpost on Narendra III. The USS Enterprise-C, answering the Klingons' distress call, fought a futile defense against the Romulans and was also destroyed. Ironically, the self-sacrifice of the Enterprise reversed the trend of deteriorating relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, to the Romulans' detriment (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise") The Romulans attacked another Klingon outpost, on Khitomer, in 2346. What came to be known as the Khitomer Massacre was facilitated by a secret pact between the Romulans and the Klingon House of Duras. (TNG: "Sins of the Father", "Reunion")

The exact nature of Romulan-Klingon relations during the 2340s is uncertain. Worf states in "The Neutral Zone" that the Khitomer Massacre occurred "at a time when they [the Romulans] were supposed to be our allies", even though the Battle of Narendra III is dated two years earlier. In "Reunion", the Romulans and Klingons are said to have been "blood enemies" since 2292. The diplomatic situation between the Romulans and Klingons may have been in particular flux during this period.

In 2367, the Romulans engaged in concerted efforts, led by Commander Sela, to break the Federation-Klingon alliance and shift the balance of power in the quadrant in their favor. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye", "Redemption") The influential House of Duras, with its long-standing ties to the Romulans, provided the best opportunity as Duras was the favored candidate to succeed the ailing Chancellor K'mpec as leader of the Klingon Empire. After K'mpec's death, Romulan equipment was involved in Duras's attempt to assassinate his rival Gowron during the Rite of Succession. However, Duras was killed by Lieutenant Worf in vengeance for the murder of Ambassador K'Ehleyr. (TNG: "Reunion")

Geordi brainwashing

Geordi La Forge is brainwashed by the Romulans to serve as an assassin (2367).

In another plot, the Romulans attempted to foment rebellion on the Klingon colony of Krios and blame it on the Federation. The Romulans supplied counterfeit Federation phasers to the Kriosian rebels and abducted Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, whom they brainwashed to assassinate Vagh, the Klingon governor of Krios. Enterprise personnel were able to prevent the assassination and expose the Romulans' involvement. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")

Near the end of 2367, the Romulans secretly backed Lursa and B'Etor's bid to take over the Klingon Empire via Duras's illegitimate son Toral. In the ensuing Klingon Civil War, Romulan supplies enabled the forces of the Duras sisters to make advances against those of Gowron. Captain Jean-Luc Picard suspected Romulan interference in the war and led a fleet of 20 starships to blockade the Klingon-Romulan border. Through the efforts of Lt. Commander Data on the USS Sutherland, a convoy of Romulan supply ships was exposed, forcing Sela to order her ships back to Romulan territory. Without Romulan support, the Duras sisters lost the war and were forced to flee. (TNG: "Redemption")

Vulcan reunificationEdit

Spock, 2368

Ambassador Spock, a central figure in the underground Romulan-Vulcan reunification movement, on Romulus in 2368

There had long existed an underground movement of Romulans interested in Vulcan culture and philosophy, who desired to eventually reunite with their distant cousins. Despite being declared enemies of the state, the unification movement grew in strength during the 24th century. The cause of unification appeared to near a breakthrough in 2368 with the rise of Proconsul Neral, who seemed receptive to the possibility of unification. Senator Pardek, a long-time ally of the unification movement, invited Ambassador Spock to Romulus to address the opportunity for peace.

However, Pardek had in fact betrayed the unification movement at the behest of Neral and Commander Sela. Sela sought to use the unification movement and Spock's credibility to disguise an attempted invasion of Vulcan using three stolen Vulcan transports. Spock, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Lt. Commander Data managed to expose the conspiracy, leading the Romulans to destroy their invasion force rather than allowing their capture by Starfleet. (TNG: "Unification II") Spock remained on Romulus to support the underground movement. In 2369, he arranged for the defection of Vice-proconsul M'ret, who had spoken out against the repressive policies of the Romulan government, to the Federation. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")

USS VoyagerEdit

The Romulans encountered personnel from the Federation starship USS Voyager, stranded in the Delta Quadrant, on two occasions. Lieutenant Reginald Barclay would claim in 2377 that the Romulans have "been interested in Voyager for years". (VOY: "Inside Man")

In 2351, the science vessel Talvath, commanded by Dr. Telek R'Mor, came into contact with the USS Voyager twenty years in the future through a micro-wormhole in Sector 1385. R'Mor agreed to deliver letters from the Voyager crew to their families at the appropriate time, but due to his death in 2367 he was unable to do so. (VOY: "Eye of the Needle", "Message in a Bottle")

Voyager was also responsible for the failure of a 2374 Tal Shiar operation, led by Rekar, to steal the experimental USS Prometheus. The Voyager crew had transmitted their EMH through the Hirogen communications network to the Prometheus in an attempt to communicate with Starfleet. Once aboard, the Voyager EMH cooperated with the Prometheus EMH Mark II to incapacitate the Romulans and assist a Starfleet task force in reclaiming the ship. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")

Dominion WarEdit

Main article: Dominion War

Contact with the Dominion in late 2370 led to the first thaw in the Empire's relations with the Federation. The Romulans regarded the Dominion as the greatest existential threat to emerge in the past century, but were unwilling to send any ships to the Gamma Quadrant themselves. Instead, in 2371 the Romulans permitted the use of a cloaking device on the USS Defiant for Gamma Quadrant operations, in exchange for intelligence gathered regarding the Dominion. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "Visionary")

Cardassian and Romulan fleet open fire

The combined fleet of the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order fires upon the Founders' homeworld in 2371

Through their agreement with Starfleet, the Romulans learned of the Founders, their control of the Jem'Hadar through ketracel-white, and the location of their homeworld. (DS9: "The Die is Cast") Yet, the Romulan government found the information unsatisfactory and planned to end the Dominion threat by destroying the Bajoran wormhole along with Deep Space 9, to ensure there were no witnesses. Deep Space 9 personnel exposed the plot before it could be carried out. (DS9: "Visionary") Meanwhile, the Tal Shiar conspired with the Cardassian Obsidian Order to launch a joint attack on the Founders. However, the Tal Shiar had been infiltrated by a changeling agent, and the resulting battle in the Omarion Nebula proved catastrophic for them and the Cardassians. (DS9: "The Die is Cast")

When the Dominion gained a major foothold in the Alpha Quadrant through the incorporation of the Cardassian Union in 2373, the Romulans dispatched a fleet of warbirds to Deep Space 9 in anticipation of an imminent Dominion attack, joining the Klingon and Federation forces there. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light") However, after war did not immediately break out, the Romulan Senate eventually opted to sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. (DS9: "Call to Arms") The pact was negotiated by Senator Vreenak, who remained an ardently pro-Dominion voice in the Romulan government. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

The Romulans thus did not participate in the early months of the Dominion War, though some analyses suggested that they would eventually join the war against the Dominion. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities") Nevertheless, the Romulans were turning a blind eye to Dominion forces crossing their space to ambush Federation ships. Concluding that the war could not be won without Romulan involvement, Captain Benjamin Sisko and Elim Garak undertook a covert operation to convince the Romulans that the Dominion posed an imminent threat. The operation ended with the assassination of Senator Vreenak, which the Romulans blamed on the Dominion. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

In the wake of Vreenak's death and the discovery of apparent Dominion invasion plans, the Romulan Star Empire formally declared war. Within hours, Romulan forces attacked fifteen bases along the Cardassian-Romulan border, opening up a new front and relieving pressure on the Federation and Klingon lines. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight") The Romulans soon sent representatives, such as Senator Cretak, to coordinate war plans with their new allies, and eventually established a permanent presence on Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") Interactions between the formerly adversarial powers though remained fractious, and the Federation was often forced to mediate disputes between the Romulans and the Klingons. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets") At one point, an attempt by the Romulans to place heavy weapons on the Bajoran moon Derna nearly shattered the alliance. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")

Uss bellerophon romulus

The USS Bellerophon conducting a diplomatic mission to Romulus in 2375.

During the war, diplomatic relations between the Romulans and the Federation improved. In 2375, the Federation embargo on Romulan ale was lifted, and a Romulan-Federation conference took place on Romulus. On the other hand, both sides were aware that they would be rivals for influence in the quadrant once the Dominion was defeated. Espionage and covert operations were rampant, including an effort by Starfleet and Section 31 to place a Federation agent on the powerful Romulan Continuing Committee. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Major Romulan engagements during the war included the liberation of Benzar, (DS9: "The Reckoning") and twelve successful campaigns led by Shinzon of Remus. The Romulans often employed Reman shock troops in the most violent encounters. (Star Trek Nemesis) Romulan forces were involved in most major battles in the latter parts of the Dominion War, including the first and second battles in the Chin'toka system and the final push against Cardassia Prime. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "The Changing Face of Evil", "What You Leave Behind") A female Romulan dignitary represented the Empire at the Dominion surrender ceremony on Deep Space 9. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

Reman coup d'étatEdit

Romulan senate floor, 2379

The Romulan Senate in 2379, during its session rejecting to cooperate with Shinzon and the Remans

Following the Dominion War, a schism developed between the Romulan Senate and the military over whether the Empire should seize the opportunity to invade the Federation. During this time Shinzon, a Human clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, emerged as the leader of a powerful Reman force wielding new technologies, including an improved cloaking device and a thalaron radiation weapon. Shinzon enlisted the support of Commander Suran and Senator Tal'aura by promising to conquer Earth. After Praetor Hiren rejected Suran's proposal to ally with Shinzon, as expected, Tal'aura planted a thalaron radiation device that assassinated the rest of the Senate.

Shinzon

Praetor Shinzon in 2379

Shinzon installed himself as the new Praetor and invited the USS Enterprise-E to Romulus for peace talks. However, his gesture was a mere ruse for the purpose of capturing Picard, as he needed a transfusion from Picard to heal his rapidly deteriorating body. Picard and the Enterprise escaped, pursued by Shinzon aboard his flagship Scimitar, while Commander Donatra was able to convince her superiors that they could not support Shinzon's genocidal ambitions. Donatra led two warbirds in support of the Enterprise during its battle with the Scimitar in the Bassen Rift. Ultimately, Shinzon and the Scimitar were both destroyed. The successor Romulan government made genuine overtures of peace toward the Federation, which was hoped would usher in a new era of understanding and peace between the two powers. (Star Trek Nemesis)

Catastrophe Edit

Romulus Destroyed in 2387

A supernova destroys Romulus (2387).

In 2387, a nearby star went supernova and threatened Romulus with annihilation. Ambassador Spock pledged to save Romulus by using red matter to create a black hole that would absorb the explosion. Unfortunately, he arrived too late to prevent the destruction of Romulus, and billions of lives were lost. (Star Trek)

Alternate timelinesEdit

In an unknown, alternate future timeframe, the Klingon Empire entered an expansionist phase that brought it and the Romulan Star Empire to war. The Romulans were defeated, with their territory occupied by the Klingons. This timeline was avoided by the actions of Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

In an alternate timeline caused by the USS Defiant accidentally sending three officers into Earth's past, the Federation never came to be. When the crew of the Defiant scanned for Federation and alien outposts all they could find were Romulan transmissions detected in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri in 2371. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

In the alternate reality created by Nero, by 2258 the Federation had become aware of the Romulans' common ancestry with the Vulcans, and all three of their dialects had become understandable to at least one communications officer. (Star Trek)

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