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Intelligent Lifeform Index

Four Letter Code RMLN
Federation Status Neutral
Planet of Origin Romulus (destroyed 2387)
Encountered NX-Enterprise, ‘’Minefield’’ (ENT)
T/E Rating T0/E0
Current Tech Level NR
List of Named Romulans

Full ILI GalleryPermitted Species Gallery

"Certain it is and sure: love burns, ale burns, fire burns, politics burn, but cold were life without them. "
- A Romulan proverb.
The Romulans are a humanoid race from the Beta Quadrant which shares a common ancestry with the Vulcans. In the aftermath of the Dominion War, the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire emerged as the two greatest powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, but the Hobus supernova destroyed Romulus and Remus in 2387, fracturing the empire as various factions vied for control of the remaining Romulan systems. With the destruction of the original Senate, both the Romulan military and the Tal Shiar consolidated considerable power, and through their support, Rator III asserted itself as the new capital of the Romulan Star Empire in 2392, now known as the Romulan Free State[1]. However, a number of splinter factions have emerged after the Hobus supernova, with the largest being the Romulan Republic, which the Empire views as a rogue province.
The following are all considered to be technically sub-species of the Romulans who are themselves considered to be a sub-species of the Vulcans. These sub-species are the Chalchaj'qmey, Dabh'aelisu, Debrune, Garidian, Rekarian, Reman and the Watraii.

Home System

  • Quadrant: Beta
  • Location: Sector Z-6
  • Proper Name: Romulus system
  • Stars: It orbits a binary class D-G9 (Yellow) white dwarf star
  • Distance from Star: unknown
  • Companions: It was the 2nd of the 4 planets in the system.

Home World

  • Proper Name: Romulus (destroyed in 2387)
  • Diameter: 14 000 km (8 700 miles)
  • Gravity: 1.0G, standard gravity
  • Axial Tilt: unknown
  • Orbital Period: unknown
  • Rotational Period: 25 hours
  • Classification: M
  • Surface Water: 69%
  • Atmosphere: Standard pressure with nitrogen, oxygen and trace elements
  • Climate: Mostly oceanic
  • Terrain: destroyed
  • Population: 18 billion



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The Romulan people originated in the minority of Vulcans who rejected the reforms of Surak. Choosing to exile themselves in order to preserve their ancestral way of life, they left Vulcan during the 4th century, marching under the banner of the Raptor that is still in use as a symbol of the Romulan Empire.

After a long journey, the Vulcans in exile reached the Romulus star system, where they settled on the twin planets Romulus and Remus. Romulus was a lush world devoid of sentient life, whereas Remus was harsh but possessed abundant mineral resources, notably dilithium, that Romulus lacked. Furthermore, Remus was inhabited by a sentient race, the Remans, which Romulans quickly subjugated. Remans were considered at best as second-class citizens in the Romulan Empire, when they were not used for slave labour or as expendable shock troops.

Once settled, the new Romulans turned their attention to the stars, in the militaristic and expansionist way that was the Vulcans’ before Surak’s reforms. The twin worlds of Romulus and Remus became the foundation of what became known as the Romulan Star Empire and soon spanned across a portion of the Beta and Alpha Quadrants.

Enterprise NX-01 officially made First Contact with the Romulans in 2152, by encountering a Romulan-laid minefield. However, the Romulans had been aware of Humanity for some time at that date, having successfully infiltrated Vulcan High Command.

The following years saw rising tensions between Romulans and Humans, culminating in the Earth-Romulan war of 2156-2160. The war was fought to a stalemate and concluded with the signature of a treaty establishing a neutral zone of one light year between Human and Romulan territories. This treaty was extended to the United Federation of Planets after its foundation one year later.

The Romulan Empire passed the next decades in relative isolation, minus the odd border skirmish or sabotage attempt from time to time.

After the Romulan ambassador to the Federation took part in a conspiracy to sabotage the Khitomer Conference in 2293, the Romulan Empire signed an accord with both the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.

After the infamous Tomed Incident disaster in 2311, the 2160 accords were reinforced by the Treaty of Algeron, establishing the Neutral Zone as strictly no-fly and prohibiting the UFP to develop cloaking technology.

Romulan isolationism continued to be in effect until the Khitomer Massacre in 2364, during which the Romulans massacred or took prisoner the whole population of the Klingon planet, minus two.

After an initial joint Cardassian-Romulan attack against the Dominion in 2371 that ended in a disaster, the Romulan Empire signed a nonaggression treaty with the Dominion in 2373. However, the Romulan Empire denounced this treaty and joined the side of the Klingon-Federation Alliance in 2374 after the assassination of Romulan Senator Vrenaak.

Hobus supernova

In 2387, a star close to Romulus went supernova. Ambassador Spock attempted to prevent the supernova from striking the planet using red matter, but he was unsuccessful and Romulus was destroyed.


See also: The Tal Shiar

The highest position of power is occupied by the Praetor, who presides over the Imperial Senate, the main governing and legislative body that meets in a large chamber in the capital city of Romulus. The vice-Praetor is known as the Proconsul.

The Praetor also heads the Continuing Committee, comprised of the nine most elite individuals of the Romulan Empire. Only the Praetor is guaranteed a seat in the Committee ; others must compete to be allowed in. The Committee takes decisions of the utmost importance for the Romulan Empire, such as the confirmation of a new Praetor. It can also hear and investigate criminal charges brought against Romulan Senators.

While not part of the Romulan government structure, the Tal Shiar holds considerable influence, and it is frequent for the Chairman of the Tal Shiar to have a seat in the Continuing Committee.

Post-Hobus Peace

In late 2399 to early 2400, a joint colony between the Romulan Free State and the Romulan Republic was setup as a first attempt at peace between the two factions. An equatorial peninsula was chosen as the site. The colony's name is Fviafv, meaning "bright" in Romulan.


Due to their Vulcan ancestry, Romulans sport pointed ears, black or dark hair and arched and up-swept eyebrows. Their major difference with Vulcans is the presence of a V-shaped brow ridge on their forehead, above the bridge of their nose. However, the form of these ridges vary from Romulan to Romulan, and a few of them even lack the brow ridges altogether, making them outwardly indistinguishable from Vulcans.


As a Vulcanoid species, Romulans share a great deal of their physiology with Vulcans. This includes their copper-based green blood and the arrangement of their internal organs, most notably that their heart is located the lower right of the chest, where the liver is found in humans. Similarly, they possess 2-3 times the strength of a human of the same build and muscle mass.

Despite their physiological similarities, Vulcans and Romulans are different enough to be distinguished by a tricorder scan, albeit with difficulty. Methods used to treat Vulcans may also be ineffective on Romulans, and they suffer from some unique diseases such as the Terothka virus. The average Romulan lifespan is longer than that of a Vulcan, and similar to Rodulans they can reach the age of 350-375.

There have been known occurrences of successful interspecies mating between Romulans and Vulcans, Humans or Klingons.

For physiological reasons or because they lack the mental discipline of the Vulcans, Romulans generally do not possess any telepathic ability.


Like the Vulcans of old, Romulans are an extremely warlike and emotional people. They are passionate, easily moved to extreme emotions. Romulan people enjoy all aspects of life to the fullest, reveling in their experiences. Even seemingly unpleasant experiences like death, and war, are cherished for their intensity.

Like the Vulcans, the Romulans have surrendered unrestrained violence as a way of life. However, in the case of the Romulans this has been replaced with a controlled deviousness; as a species the Romulans are generally thought of as duplicitous, a reputation the actions of their government over the last decades has reinforced.

Romulans tend to be highly xenophobic and isolationnists. They believe themselves to be superior to other species, to the point of outright racism.

The totalitarian nature of Romulan society, in which dissent is often a crime and where the Tal Shiar, the secret police of the Empire, masquerade as citizens, lead many Romulans to be extremely paranoid.


The Romulans do not worship any deity. Instead, they follow the Way of D’era (sometimes simply referred to as the Way), which dictates that they are superior to all other races and destined to rule the galaxy. D’era, which translates as "Endless Sky" (that the Romulans are supposed to conquer), also teaches obedience, discipline and similar traits that prevent the Romulan Empire from falling apart due to its own internal conflicts.

They also revere the Elements that make the Universe: Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and the Arch-element that binds them all together.


Both Romulan and Vulcan mythologies state that their race has been created by the Ancient Ones, also called the Vhorani, on a world called Vorta Vor, the Wellspring or Creation. Vorta Vor is depicted as the equivalent of the Terran Garden of Eden, and Romulans believe that fallen soldiers who died as heroes are welcomed back to Vorta Vor to serve as honor guards.

The Romulan believe that the Vhorani have transplanted them from Vorta Vor to the harsh environment of Vulcan in the hope that the inhospitable planet would make them strong and worthy of being their inheritors, rulers of the universe after them.


The Romulan society is based upon a highly structured caste system. Individual status is ordered according to rank, house status and personal accomplishments and reputation. The system is refined and complicated to the point that it is rare for two Romulans to have exactly the same social standing.

Since the Romulan Empire is a highly militaristic society, military service and rank have a decisive influence on social status. The reverse is not true; social status outside of the Imperial Senate cannot give a person authority in the Romulan military chain of command.

Valid methods to rise in status include merit and achievements, military honors, cunning (subterfuge, betrayal, blackmail, elimination of opponents – physical or otherwise), material wealth (and capacity to bribe) and alliances with people already in positions of power. Romulan females are equal to males, both in the civil society and the military.

Romulans practitce death penalty, especially for state criminals, by means both painful and unpleasant. Prior to the presenting of the charges, the Romulans allow the accused a Right of Statement.


See also: The Romulan Dictionary

The Romulan language has several dialects, and is difficult to distinguish from the Vulcan language for those not versed in xenolinguistics. A common courtesy is the saying «Jolan Tru», both used as a salutation and a farewell.

Romulans are a very poetic and artistic society, balancing their fierce warrior ethic with the sensitivity of true artistry.

All Romulans usually practice some form of creative endeavor in their spare time like painting, sculpting, music, or creating literary works. Museums abound throughout the Romulan territories, and many mediums are expressed in their artwork and creative endeavors. Epic poetry is considered one of the most favored styles of literature.

Often, Romulan by the thousands flock to the Arena’s to enjoy the demonstrations of their finest athletes. It is not unusual to see the spectators challenge the athletes themselves, more to learn a new technique that had been demonstrated, than out of any great desire to defeat the champions.

Martial arts and swordplay are considered forms of art, and held in particularly high regard.

Another popular game, Tyr’llryanniha, is a full-contact, often brutal and bloody, sport. It is similar to Earth’s football, but with the added danger of razor-sharp, bladed weapons. It is not unusual to see at least half of the players carried off the playing field before the first half of the game is finished.

The Romulan also enjoy a great deal of games. The most well known are: D’elo the game of stones and sticks that traces back to ancient Vulcan, Lhi the game of wits and riddles, and even three-dimensional chess has become popular within Romulan space. The Romulan also enjoy Khariat, a game made up of pieces that are removed one at a time from the structure. The one to draw the piece that causes the structure to fall is the loser. Trayatik is a dice game, similar to ‘craps’. Villrillu are the Romulan versions of playing cards, and there are numerous games to be enjoyed with them.

The Romulans also relish nature, and enjoy the outdoors a great deal. Most Romulan are avid hikers and campers, and participate in a wide variety of other outdoor activities as well.

Romulan ale is a blue alcoholic beverage which is illegal in Federation space due to a trade embargo since the late 23rd century. Despite this, it is often traded and consumed openly.

Other Romulan drinks include Kali-fal, a blue drink with an aroma said to "forcibly open one's frontal sinuses before the first sip", and Aesollh, a spicy tea that has become difficult to obtain after the destruction of Romulus.

Romulan fashion of the late 24th century has distinctive squared shoulders. Hair is generally cut straight across the brow close to the eyebrows, with longer locks framing the face, cut following the cheekbones, in a style reminiscent of a helmet.


At the center of the Romulan code of behavior is the importance of “mnhei’sahe.” It is an abstract measurement of a Romulan’s personal honor and is often used as a status symbol in their culture. Mnhei’sahe, which translates loosely to “the ruling passion,” centers around a strong respect and appreciation of honor, duty, courtesy and strength. In all interactions between Romulan, it is imperative that all parties leave afterward feeling that their honor and “face,” is intact. If not, it is paramount to deny mnhei’sahe to the offended party. If the offending party feels he can apologize without himself losing face, he does so. Wars, executions and deaths of entire households can be required to satisfy mnhei’sahe. If mnhei’sahe is always intact within the Empire, the Romulan believe that they can never lose.

If the disgraced party is beyond redemption, those present may simply execute him or recommend he commit ritual suicide by sending him swords in order prevent further disgrace and loss of mnhei’sahe. Above all, mnhei’sahe is sensitive to the context of the situation and is a rather interpretive concept. It is not a specific codified set of rules, but an unspoken understanding which guides the actions of all Romulan throughout life. Romulan honor their word when it is given to another Rihannha. To break with one’s word means dishonor and a loss of mnhei’sahe, a fate worse than death. Politeness, respect, and quiet dignity are always required if mnhei’sahe is to be satisfied.

Romulans honor power as much as they honor loyalty and it is the goal of each Romulan to attain that power if not for one’s self or House, then always for the Empire. Romulan are always loyal to the Empire itself, not to any one person. For the Romulan, power can not be defined in the standard Terran terms, but is the power of mnhei’sahe, and it defines the structure within Romulan society and the daily decisions each Romulan makes.

Romulan parents dispose of any newborn carrying birth defects as the alternative would mean a waste of resources.


Romulan technology is one of the main strengths of the Empire ; it is generally considered as on par or superior to its Federation counterpart, particularly in its military applications.


Unlike most of the evolved species in the Alpha Quadrants, Romulans practice slavery, and frequently use conquered races, Remans in particular, for slave labor.


See also: Romulan Star Navy
Star Navy Uniforms

The Romulan military, also called Romulan Guard, appears to be a combined service, like Starfleet. It encompasses the Romulan Star Navy (space forces) and the Imperial Legion (ground forces). At the head of the military is the High Command, an institution most likely carried over from and modeled on the Vulcan High Command.

The Romulan Star Navy, also called Romulan Imperial Fleet or Imperial Armada, regroups the space forces of the Romulan Star Empire, notably its signature warbirds.

Some of the distinctive technologies associated with the Romulan military include their famous cloaking devices, antiproton-based disruptor weapons, plasma torpedoes and quantum-singularity reactors. They are also infamous for resorting to thalaron generators as anti-personnel weapons.

Romulan military uniforms consist of a collared black undershirt with the Imperial emblem at the base of the neck and a belted, square-patterned jacket. Rank insignia is a series of diamond and crescent shapes, worn on a shoulder belt.