Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
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 emigrants.

Early historyEdit

See also: Vulcan history

A "Garden of Eden"-like place known as Vorta Vor was part of Romulan creation myths. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

It is unknown what the relationship between "Vorta Vor" and its Vulcan counterpart Sha Ka Ree is.

One possible scientific explanation for the origin of Vulcans, and thereby also of the Romulans, came to light in 2268 with the discovery of Sargon and his people. When Sargon explained that his people colonized many worlds in the galaxy half a million years ago, Spock theorized that Vulcan might have been such a colony world. According to Spock, "That would tend to explain certain elements of Vulcan prehistory." (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow") In 2369, evidence was discovered that suggests many of the galaxy's humanoid races were descended from a single humanoid race, the originators of the basic anatomy. Around 4.5 billion years ago they had seeded many worlds with a DNA code to guide evolution to a form resembling their own. Romulans, and therefore also Vulcans, displayed evidence of these DNA sequences. (TNG: "The Chase")

T'Pol stated that Vulcans evolved on Vulcan in ENT: "The Forge". However, this was roughly a century before "Return to Tomorrow" took place and T'Pol probably just cited the scientific theory of her time. If Sargon's people resulted from DNA by the ancient humanoids themselves, both "Return to Tomorrow" and "The Chase" are in fact compatible.

An atomic bomb explodes during the Time of Awakening on Vulcan

Vulcans were once an extremely violent and emotional people, waging almost constant warfare among each other. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "The Savage Curtain"; 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, a period called the Time of Awakening. One group, known as "those who march beneath the Raptor's wings", rejected Surak's teachings and fought against his followers. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain"; TNG: "Gambit, Part II"; ENT: "Awakening") At the end, the dissidents lost a terrible atomic war that ensued and left their homeworld. During their travels, some split away to form the Debrune civilization, which became extinct long before the 24th century. Eventually, the group settled on two planets named Romulus and Remus, and thus laid the foundation of the Romulan civilization. (TNG: "Unification I", "Gambit, Part 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". Some of these books, predominantly The Romulan Way, discuss the Romulan migration as being led by a Vulcan named S'task (β), a follower of Surak who turned away from Surak's teachings and left Vulcan in the 3rd century.

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

According to Q, one of Quinn's "self-destructive stunts" created a misunderstanding which ignited "the hundred year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans." (VOY: "Death Wish")

This "hundred year war" was never elaborated on, but Q apparently assumed Captain Janeway to know about it. It is possible this was intended as a reference to the atomic war following the Time of Awakening. In any case it must have taken place no later than the 21st century, when Quinn was imprisoned.

According to Admiral Dougherty, it was warp drive that turned "a bunch of Romulan thugs into an empire." Dougherty likened the impact of warp technology on the Romulans to that of petroleum on "petty thugs" on Earth in the past. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Dougherty's remark indicates that the Romulans became warp capable after they left Vulcan. Furthermore, a subsequent vague remark from Captain Picard that the Romulans might have still appeared controllable a century ago (i.e., in the 23rd century) could be interpreted as a hint to when they achieved warp capability. However, such an interpretation was refuted by on-screen evidence shown in Star Trek: Enterprise as well as the fact that the Romulan Star Empire fought an interstellar war from 2156 to 2160 (see below).

22nd centuryEdit

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

A Romulan Bird-of-Prey pursues Enterprise NX-01 in 2152, after Enterprise violated Romulan territory

The Romulan Empire's first recorded contact with Humans occurred in 2152, when the Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01 was on course to explore an M-class planet. Unknown to Enterprise, the planet was claimed by the Romulans and the ship was damaged by a cloaked spatial mine, part of a minefield surrounding the planet. A decloaking Romulan Bird-of-Prey subsequently established audio communication and, although the universal translator initially had problems to lock on to the Romulan language, Enterprise communications officer Hoshi Sato was able to translate what turned out to be an ultimatum to depart immediately. After successfully detaching a spatial mine that latched on to the ship's hull, Enterprise left the system. (ENT: "Minefield")


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

As of 2154, the Romulan Star Empire was covertly collaborating with Administrator V'Las of the Vulcan High Command. This was part of a decades-long effort to "reunify" the Romulan and Vulcan "cousins", presumably under Romulan rule, by politically isolating Vulcan. However, a group of Vulcans named Syrrannites accused the High Command of no longer following the logical teachings of Surak and, thus, were a threat to the Romulan plans of reunification. Secretly working with Major Talok, a Romulan deep-cover agent who had infiltrated Vulcan several years earlier and now worked within the Vulcan High Command, V'Las assumed a very aggressive stance and framed the Syrrannites for a terror attack on the United Earth Embassy on Vulcan. Also calling for a preemptive strike against Andoria, the conspiracy ultimately led to the Battle of Andoria between Vulcan and the Andorian Empire in mid-2154. However, V'Las was deposed after he was eventually identified as being behind the embassy bombings and the exaggerated war claims against the Andorians. Although Talok then promised to him that this would be but a minor setback, he subsequently left Vulcan. (ENT: "The Forge", "Kir'Shara")

Romulan drone ships near Romulus

Two Romulan drone ships depart their base near Romulus in 2154

As it was mainly due to the Earth starship Enterprise and its crew that the Romulan plot had been 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, Admiral Valdore, with the support of Senator Vrax, 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 led to talks, in 2155, on forming a 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 at the hands of a Human/Vulcan/Andorian/Tellarite alliance, the Romulans negotiated a treaty via subspace radio, 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. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", 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 numerous campaigns. (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". A Romulan commander in that episode, as portrayed by Mark Lenard, is depicted as war-weary and even states as much to a centurion friend of his. At another point, the Centurion 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

Romulan commander, 2266

The commander of a Romulan Bird-of-Prey in 2266

In 2266, the Neutral Zone Incursion by the Romulan Star Empire marked the end of a century of isolation. Emerging from seclusion to test the strength of its old enemy as well as to field test new technologies of its own, the Romulan Praetor ordered his finest flagship, a Romulan Bird-of-Prey led by an experienced commander, to violate the Neutral Zone and attack a series of Federation outposts that lined the border, in Sector Z-6. Equipped with an effective cloaking device and a powerful new plasma torpedo system, the Bird-of-Prey easily annihilated Outposts 2, 3, 4, and 8. 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 ended with a visual communication in which the Romulan Commander bestowed his respect to Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. This also marked the Federation's first confirmed visual observation of the Vulcan-like Romulan appearance. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

Although vague statements in "Balance of Terror" and Star Trek: Insurrection could be interpreted to suggest that the Romulans acquired warp drive in the 23rd century, this is contradicted by on-screen depictions in Star Trek: Enterprise of warp-capable Romulan vessels in the 22nd century.

A brief but ultimately unsuccessful thaw 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 Polaric Test Ban Treaty, banning research on polaric energy, was signed. (VOY: "Time and Again")

Romulans surround the Enterprise, TEI remastered

A Romulan Bird-of-Prey and two Romulan D7-class battle cruisers equipped with cloaking technology detain the Enterprise in 2268

Within that same year, Captain Kirk was ordered to take the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, thereby provoking an encounter with Romulan forces in an attempt to steal a functional cloaking device so that Starfleet could assess its danger to the Federation. After the unsuccessful Neutral Zone Incursion two years earlier, the Romulans vigorously patrolled their side of the Neutral Zone and further encounters with trespassing Starfleet vessels were countered by the Star Empire by simply outnumbering their opponent. As a result, the Enterprise was quickly intercepted and detained by three Romulan vessels among which there were at least two D7 class ships of Klingon design now being used by the Star Empire. By faking his death, Kirk was able to infiltrate one of the Romulan ships, steal their cloaking device, and subsequently use it on the Enterprise to escape to Federation space along with a captured Romulan commander. (TOS: "The Deadly Years", "The Enterprise Incident")

In 2269, Starfleet, namely Cmdr. Spock, assumed the Klingon ship IKS Klothos to possess effective cloaking capability against Starfleet sensors, a technology believed to be uniquely Romulan just the previous year. In 2271, 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 Enterprise Incident"; TAS: "The Time Trap"; TNG: "Reunion"; DS9: "Blood Oath"; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek: Insurrection)

Both Scotty and Spock specifically identify the Romulan D7-class battle cruisers in "The Enterprise Incident" to be of Klingon design. This, as well as the Klingons, specifically Kor's Klothos, potentially possessing effective cloaking capability the following year might indicate some sort of technology exchange. The Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt between both sides in 2271, i.e., just two years later, might indicate Romulan-Klingon relations were in particular flux during this time.
Nanclus, 2293

Romulan Ambassador to Earth Nanclus was part of a conspiracy to prevent further Federation-Klingon rapprochement in 2293

In 2293, the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis caused an ecological and economical disaster in the Klingon Empire, bringing about a fundamental shift of power in the quadrant. When the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council, Gorkon, took the controversial move of proposing a full peace treaty with the Federation, the Romulan government, while officially remaining neutral, attempted diplomatic subterfuge to prevent such an unfavorable situation. The Romulan Ambassador to Earth, Nanclus, became part of a conspiracy, which also included conservative members of Starfleet as well as the Klingon Empire, and cautiously tried to escalate the situation by advising the Federation President to execute Operation Retrieve. Although the conspiracy was able to assassinate Chancellor Gorkon, it was ultimately uncovered and unsuccessful in sabotaging a lasting Federation-Klingon peace treaty. It would become a defining Romulan motive of the coming decades to re-shift the balance of power by perturbing this peace. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Reunion", "The Mind's Eye")

24th centuryEdit

Opposition to the FederationEdit

Initial escalation and later cold warEdit

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 "matters more urgent." This period of "isolation" was not hermetic, however, and limited, indirect contact between both sides continued: In 2344, survivors from the USS Enterprise-C, including Natasha Yar, who would become the mother of Commander Sela, were secretly captured by the Romulans; in 2349, Starfleet officer Stefan DeSeve defected to the Star Empire, allegedly being attracted by the Romulans' "strict moral compass" and their "absolute certainty about the purpose of life". (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "The Defector", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Face of the Enemy", "The Pegasus")

D'deridex class

A D'deridex-class warbird in 2364. The D'deridex-class warbird was the primary Romulan warship design during the mid-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. After 53 years, 7 months, and 18 days of no official contact, 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. Although the Enterprise was able to withdraw from the situation with the timely intervention of hidden Klingon reinforcements, Admiral Jarok ultimately chose to commit suicide. (TNG: "The Defector") By 2367, Romulan forces were deployed in an aggressive posture along the Neutral Zone, which Starfleet believed was to support a strategy of testing Federation defenses. An overture to discuss the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two powers that year was found to be a Romulan ruse, however. In fact, the Star Empire was able to achieve a major intelligence victory, when the Devoras under Admiral Mendak successfully extracted Subcommander Selok from Federation space, who had until then been impersonating the Vulcan T'Pel, one of the Federation's most distinguished ambassadors. (TNG: "Data's Day")

Romulan science vessel, forward

A Romulan science vessel in 2368

Research in technologies and phenomena of strategic value remained one of the main battlegrounds of the Romulan-Federation stand-off. In 2366, two D'deridex-class warbirds were dispatched to outrun the Enterprise-D to make contact and potentially capture a powerful spaceborne lifeform. The mission failed, however, and resulted in the destruction of one of the warbirds. (TNG: "Tin Man") In 2368, a Romulan science vessel suffered a major malfunction while field testing an interphase cloaking device, which would allow a vessel to pass through solid matter. The incident was a particular setback, as the ship's distress call was answered by no other than Starfleet's Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Next Phase") In 2369, a Romulan warbird shadowed the Enterprise-D and eventually participated in the discovery of the humanoid progenitor race. Moved by this revelation, the Romulan commander contacted the Enterprise and pointed out the fundamental similarities between Romulans and Humans. (TNG: "The Chase") Later that year, the Enterprise answered another Romulan distress call by a warbird whose singularity power source was compromised by singularity-dwelling lifeforms. Although the crew of the warbird was rescued, the lifeforms eventually took the ship into a different space-time continuum. (TNG: "Timescape") In 2370, the Terix uncovered illegal Federation experiments into a phasing cloaking device in the Devolin system. Commander Sirol was subsequently hailed by Starfleet, being assured that the Romulan government would soon be contacted concerning the recent incident and that the experiment was not sanctioned by the Federation. (TNG: "The Pegasus") As of 2371, the Romulans were experimenting with trilithium, a high-grade explosive, but were unable to stabilize it. As of 2375, trilitihium isotopes were found in Romulan plasma torpedoes. (Star Trek Generations; DS9: "Image in the Sand").

Vulcan reunification movementEdit

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. It was, however, remarked that the data chip R'Mor was given possibly passed on to other Romulan officials, therefore precipitating a certain knowledge of Voyager and its fate. (VOY: "Eye of the Needle", "Message in a Bottle") When he visited Voyager in 2373, the omnipotent entity Q also claimed that he could have mated with the Romulan Empress for the purpose of creating offspring. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey") 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")

Hot and cold conflicts with the Klingon EmpireEdit

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

The apparent vicissitude of Klingon-Romulan relations during the 23rd century propagated into the 24th century. 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") Two years later, in 2346, at a time when it was supposed to be "an ally" of the Klingons, the Star Empire attacked the Klingon planet Khitomer and killed almost all of the 4,000 colonists. The raid was made possible by the traitor Ja'rod of the House of Duras, who supplied the Romulans with the deactivation codes of the colony's defensive shields. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "Sins of the Father") In 2350, Romulan forces failed in an attempt to board Klingon General ShiVang's flagship. That same year, later Romulan Praetor Neral's family were killed in a Klingon attack. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

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")

Aside from the House of Duras, the Star Empire was able to recruit other Klingon individuals who were opposing their alliance with the Federation and believed a partnership with Romulus would make their people stronger. In late 2367, Klingon exobiologist J'Dan, who was part of an exchange program aboard the Enterprise-D, turned out to be spying for the Romulans. (TNG: "The Drumhead") Some weeks later, Cmdr. Sela was cooperating with Klingon Ambassador Kell in an attempt 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")

B'Etor and Movar in 2367

Romulan General Movar is assisting B'Etor of the House of Duras during the Klingon Civil War in 2367.

Near the end of 2367, the Romulans secretly backed Duras' sisters Lursa and B'Etor's in their bid to take over the Klingon Empire via their late brother'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 23 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", "Redemption II")

Dominion WarEdit

Main article: Dominion War

In late 2370, contact with the Dominion, a hegemonial power from the Gamma Quadrant ruled by the "Founders", led to the first thaw in the Star 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 via the Bajoran wormhole themselves. Instead, in exchange for intelligence gathered regarding the Dominion, in 2371, the Romulans permitted the use of a cloaking device on the USS Defiant, which was to be used only in the Gamma Quadrant and operated and guarded by a Romulan liaison officer. Some months later, two official Romulan diplomats, Ruwon and Karina, as well as a secret, cloaked warbird, were dispatched to Deep Space 9, the Bajoran-Federation space station at the mouth of the Bajoran wormhole. The diplomats were unimpressed with the eventual intelligence data they were provided with and suspicious of the station's security chief Odo, failing to see the distinction between "Changeling" and "Founder". In fact, the entire diplomatic mission was but a cover to carry out the actual Romulan plan - to end the Dominion threat by using the warbird to destroy the wormhole along with Deep Space 9 in order to discard of any witnesses. However, the ploy was uncovered as the cloaked warbird was discovered and Ruwon and Karina had to leave the station. (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

Nevertheless, through their agreement with Starfleet, the Romulans had already learned of the Founders, their control of the Jem'Hadar through ketracel-white, and the location of their homeworld. (DS9: "The Die is Cast") Still poised to end the Dominion threat once and for all, the Romulan intelligence service Tal Shiar conspired with the Cardassian Obsidian Order to launch a joint attack on the Founder's homeworld in the Omarion Nebula. By annihilating the Founders, it was estimated that the Jem'Hadar would weaken and die out in a matter of days as their supply of ketracel-white would run out. However, the Tal Shiar had been infiltrated by a changeling agent, who had actually supported the plan as a unique opportunity to wipe out or substantially weaken the Tal Shiar as well as the Obsidian Order - ruthless organisations with the potential of being a threat to the Dominion. The resulting battle in the Omarion Nebula proved catastrophic for both fleets, and although a small number of Romulans survived and was imprisoned at Internment Camp 371, all five Romulan warbirds involved in the battle were destroyed. (DS9: "The Die is Cast", "In Purgatory's Shadow")

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")


Vreenak discovers the subterfuge, but the Star Empire is still "tricked" into the Dominion War.

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. To that end, Vreenak was presented with an optolythic data rod containing a forged holographic record of a secret meeting showing Dominion officials Weyoun and Legate Damar discussing an invasion of the Romulan Empire. Although Sisko hoped the fake recording would pass and convince the Senator, an infuriated Vreenak uncovered the plot and headed back to Romulus. However, the operation ended with the assassination of the Senator by sabotaging his shuttle. As Garak had originally foreseen, the Romulans discovered the data rod, but ascribed any imperfections to the blast damage, and therefore blamed the Dominion for the assassination. (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, joining the Federation Alliance. 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") Further Romulan engagements soon followed, including the liberation of the Federation world Benzar, which had earlier been occupied by the Dominion (DS9: "The Reckoning"), as well as twelve successful campaigns led by Shinzon of Remus. The Romulans often employed Reman shock troops in the most violent encounters. (Star Trek Nemesis)

USS Bellerophon orbiting Romulus

The USS Bellerophon conducting a diplomatic mission to Romulus in 2375

The Romulans soon sent representatives, first Senators Letant and Cretak, then General Velal, 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") In general, however, diplomatic relations between the Romulans and the Federation improved during the war. 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")

Romulan forces were involved in most major battles in the later parts of the Dominion War, including the first and second battles in the Chin'toka system as well as the final push against Cardassia Prime. The latter saw the destruction of the Romulan flagship and was pushed for by the Federation and the Klingon Empire, despite an initial hesitation of Romulan representative Velal, who thought it would be wiser to contain the Dominion, rather than to mount a major offensive. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "The Changing Face of Evil", "The Dogs of War", "What You Leave Behind") After the Federation Alliance's victory at Cardassia in late 2375, a female Romulan dignitary represented the Star Empire at the signing of the Treaty of Bajor on Deep Space 9, which formally brought the Dominion War to a conclusion. (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, Romulan-Federation relations cooled off again, a minor side-effect being the reintroduction of the ban on Romulan ale in the Federation, which had temporarily been lifted during the war. By 2379, a schism had 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.


Praetor Shinzon - A Human clone became the leader of a Reman coup d'état

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. The USS Titan was subsequently dispatched to the Romulan Neutral Zone to serve as the command ship for a diplomatic task force. (Star Trek Nemesis)

Catastrophe Edit

Romulus Destroyed in 2387

A supernova destroys Romulus in 2387, killing billions

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. However, while he was able to contain the supernova, Spock arrived too late to prevent the destruction of Romulus and billions of lives were lost. Among the dead were the wife and unborn child of Nero, a Romulan miner who blamed the disaster on Spock. Struck with grief, Nero called himself the "last of the Romulan Empire" and intercepted Spock's vessel with his mining ship, the Narada. Both vessels along with their crews went missing as they were pulled into the black hole created by the red matter. (Star Trek)

Non-canon works such as the prequel tie-in comic book series Star Trek: Countdown as well as the reference book Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library state the name of the star that went supernova as Hobus (β). The Starfleet Reference Library and the computer game Star Trek Online further specify that the unusual supernova shock wave traveled through subspace, thus being able to destroy Romulus with little warning time.

Alternate timelinesEdit

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 in 2371 scanned for Federation and alien outposts, all they could find were Romulan transmissions detected in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

When Benjamin Sisko visited the mirror universe in 2371, he initially tried to cover his departure by telling Jennifer Sisko that he would visit the Romulans in an attempt to solicit assistance for the fledgling Terran Rebellion in their fight against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass")

In the anti-time future shown by Q, the Romulans were not crippled by a supernova, but were defeated by the Klingon Empire as 2395. As a result, their territory was occupied by the Klingons, and the Neutral Zone abolished. Around 2395, tensions were rising between the Klingons and the Federation, and no Starfleet ships were allowed to enter former Romulan space. However, due to an outbreak of Terrellian plague on Romulus, the Klingons permitted Federation medical ships to cross the border. This timeline was avoided by the actions of Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

After they were pulled into the red matter black hole in 2387, the Narada and Spock's vessel emerged in the years 2233 and 2258 of a twisted alternate reality. As of 2258 in this reality, the Federation had become aware of the Romulans' common ancestry with the Vulcans and the alternate Nyota Uhura was knowledgeable on all three dialects of their language. Upon encountering the Narada, Starfleet initially interpreted Nero's aggression as an act of war by the Romulan Empire. Quickly, a conference with the Federation and Romulan leadership at a neutral location was offered, but Nero declined and emphasized that he is not affiliated with the Empire (of that timeline). Although he managed to annihilate the Vulcan homeworld during his vendetta against Spock, Nero was eventually killed when the Narada was destroyed in another red matter black hole created by a collision with Spock's ship. (Star Trek)


  • 370: Time of Awakening on Vulcan – As the planet is consumed by atomic wars, Surak proposes to embrace logic as a way to peace. "Those who march beneath the Raptor's wings" oppose his views and leave the planet after losing the war. Some become the ancestors of the Debrune, while others settle Romulus, laying the foundation of the Romulan civilization.
  • 2152: First contact with Humans occurs as the Earth Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01 accidentally enters a Romulan minefield.
  • 2154: The Romulan Star Empire has infiltrated the Vulcan High Command, but fails at its attempt to facilitate an eventual re-unification by isolating Vulcan. After this approach is thwarted and the Vulcan government toppled, Adm. Valdore fails at another attempt to sabotage the emerging alliance between the Humans and their Andorian, Vulcan, and Tellarite partners.
  • 2156-2160: Earth-Romulan War – The conflict with the Humans escalates into an open war, which is concluded with a humiliating defeat for the Romulans at the hands of an Earth/Vulcan/Andorian/Tellarite alliance at the Battle of Cheron. Without visual communication, a neutral zone between the two power blocs is agreed on and the Star Empire begins a period of isolation from the the soon-to-be-formed Federation.
  • 2266: Neutral Zone Incursion – The Star Empire emerges from seclusion as the Romulan Praetor orders his his flagship to violate the Neutral Zone. However, the vessel is defeated by the USS Enterprise under Cpt. Kirk and the first official visual communication between both sides confirms the Vulcan-like physical appearance of the Romulans.
  • 2267: The Romulan Star Empire, along with the Federation and the Klingon Empire, jointly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, colonize Nimbus III, which is dubbed the "Planet of Galactic Peace".
  • 2268: In order to assess its danger to the Federation, Kirk and the Enterprise violate the Neutral Zone and manage to steal a cloaking device as well as to capture a Romulan commander. As of this encounter, the Romulans are employing ships of Klingon design. That same year, a polaric ion explosion destroys a Romulan research colony on Chaltok IV, prompting the Polaric Test Ban Treaty.
  • 2271: Battle of Klach D'kel Brakt – The Star Empire suffers a significant defeat at the hands of Klingon forces under Cmdr. Kor.
  • 2292: By this year, Romulans and Klingons regard each other as "blood enemies".
  • 2293: Khitomer Accords – Despite diplomatic sabotage involving the Romulan ambassador to Earth, Nanclus, the balance of power around the Star Empire is fundamentally shifted when the Federation and the Klingon Empire negotiate for a lasting peace.
  • 2311: Tomed Incident – A terrible confrontation between the Star Empire and the Federation leads to the signing of the Treaty of Algeron, re-enforcing the Neutral Zone, banning Starfleet from any research into cloaking technology, and driving the Romulans back into isolation.
  • 2344: Battle of Narendra III – Romulan ships attack the Klingon colony on Narendra III. Answering the distress call, the Federation starship USS Enterprise-C is outmatched but honorably sacrifices itself, thereby fostering Federation-Klingon relations. Survivors of the Enterprise are subsequently taken to Romulus; among them is Natasha Yar, who would become the mother of Cmdr. Sela.
  • 2346: Khitomer Massacre – At a time they are supposed to be "allies" of the Klingon Empire, the Romulans attack another Klingon colony, this time on Khitomer. The attack kills 4,000 colonists and was made possible by Ja'rod of the House of Duras, who helped to disable the planetary defense system.
  • 2350: Romulan forces fail in an attempt to board Klingon General ShiVang's flagship. That same year, later Romulan Praetor Neral's family are killed in a Klingon attack.
  • 2364: After 53 years, the Star Empire ends its isolation from the Federation and agrees on limited cooperation to determine the cause of destroyed bases of both sides along the Neutral Zone.
  • 2366: Several tense encounters between Starfleet and Romulan forces, including the failed defection of Adm. Alidar Jarok, occur along the Neutral Zone and in unclaimed space.
  • 2367: The Star Empire deploys its forces in an aggressive posture along the Neutral Zone and successfully extracts one of its operatives impersonating Federation ambassador T'Pel. Later that year, Cmdr. Sela steps up Romulan efforts to sabotage the Federation-Klingon alliance. While her assassination attempt on governor Vagh is foiled by the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, she starts to covertly influence and support the anti-Federation House of Duras during the Klingon Civil War.
  • 2368: After Starfleet cuts off Romulan support for the House of Duras, they are quickly defeated in the Klingon Civil War, thereby thwarting the Star Empire's plan to destabilize the Klingon-Federation alliance. Shortly afterwards, the Romulan underground movement for a Vulcan reunification gains momentum as an alleged proponent, Neral, becomes proconsul. Federation ambassador Spock is subsequently invited to Romulus, but the offer for Romulan-Vulcan rapprochement soon turns out to be an attempt by Neral and Sela to occupy Vulcan. While the scheme is thwarted by the crew of the Enterprise-D, Spock chooses to remain with the underground movement on Romulus. Later that year, the Enterprise assist a Romulan science vessel, which unsuccessfully experimented with a prototype interphase cloaking device that could represent a decisive tactical advantage for the Star Empire.
  • 2387: Romulus is destroyed by a nearby supernova, killing billions.
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