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The Overlord May 15 2013 05:33 AM

The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
The Romulans have been called "Space Romans" in the past, but how accurate is that? Roman Society lasted for a thousand years and went through many changes, Rome started as a republic and became a dictatorship, had something akin to Monarchy for a while, until the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. That's not mentioning the Holy Roman Empire and the period where the Roman Empire was split into two different empires, an Western and Eastern one.

So what era of Roman Society are the Romulans based on? Is it a democracy or a dictatorship? Who holds the real power, the Senate or the Praetor? Is the Senate elected or appointed? How are Praetors selected?

Also the Roman Empire was never really xenophobic, it made the people they conquered Roman citizens and even tried to improve their lives in some ways, usually by improving road systems and building aqueducts. The Romulan Empire doesn't seem similar to the Romans in that important respect.

Mr. Laser Beam May 15 2013 05:35 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

The Overlord wrote: (Post 8090392)
So what era of Roman Society are the Romulans based on? Is it a democracy or a dictatorship?

Probably a bit of both.

Quote:

Who holds the real power, the Senate or the Praetor? Is the Senate elected or appointed?
IIRC, Romulan senators are indeed elected.

Quote:

How are Praetors selected?
The Continuing Committee, I think. One of their duties is the confirmation of a new Praetor. Although we don't know what process candidates have to go through to get to that point.

The Overlord May 15 2013 05:42 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: (Post 8090401)
Quote:

The Overlord wrote: (Post 8090392)
So what era of Roman Society are the Romulans based on? Is it a democracy or a dictatorship?

Probably a bit of both.

Quote:

Who holds the real power, the Senate or the Praetor? Is the Senate elected or appointed?
IIRC, Romulan senators are indeed elected.

Quote:

How are Praetors selected?
The Continuing Committee, I think. One of their duties is the confirmation of a new Praetor. Although we don't know what process candidates have to go through to get to that point.

Well the Roman Empire was kinda of a dictatorship after rule of Julius and then Augustus Caesar, where because the Emperor had absolute control of the military, they could bully the senate into doing what they wanted. Is that the relationship in the Romulan Empire?

Also there seems to be a secret police, which seems to undermine the idea that the Romulan Empire is a democracy.

It be interesting to see if there similarities in history between the Roman and Romulans Empire. Have they ever had a Nero or Caligula style ruler, someone who was pretty insane? It seems like Shinzon is the closet comparison, but he likely wasn't Praetor for more then a month.

Nerys Myk May 15 2013 05:59 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
One probably shouldn't take the idea of the Romulans being "Space Romans" too literally

The Overlord May 15 2013 06:06 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

Nerys Myk wrote: (Post 8090482)
One probably shouldn't take the idea of the Romulans being "Space Romans" too literally

It seems like too easy an explanation for their society and doesn't take into account the long and confusing history of Roman Society.

Nerys Myk May 15 2013 06:19 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

The Overlord wrote: (Post 8090521)
Quote:

Nerys Myk wrote: (Post 8090482)
One probably shouldn't take the idea of the Romulans being "Space Romans" too literally

It seems like too easy an explanation for their society and doesn't take into account the long and confusing history of Roman Society.

Whats confusing about Roman Society? Any society that last for centuries is going to evolve and change.

While the creators of Star Trek borrowed from the Romans in naming the Romulans as a species and individuals, the actual source for Balance of Terror was a WWII submarine film. And the isolation of Romulans is more reminiscent of Japan and China at various points in history.

The Overlord May 15 2013 06:22 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

Nerys Myk wrote: (Post 8090557)
Quote:

The Overlord wrote: (Post 8090521)
Quote:

Nerys Myk wrote: (Post 8090482)
One probably shouldn't take the idea of the Romulans being "Space Romans" too literally

It seems like too easy an explanation for their society and doesn't take into account the long and confusing history of Roman Society.

Whats confusing about Roman Society? Any society that last for centuries is going to evolve and change.

While the creators of Star Trek borrowed from the Romans in naming the Romulans as a species and individuals, the actual source for Balance of Terror was a WWII submarine film. And the isolation of Romulans is more reminiscent of Japan and China at various points in history.

Its confusing because the Roman Empire existed for a thousand years and went through massive changes in that amount of time, so just calling them "Space Romans" as some people do, doesn't really tell you anything about them, really.

It just seems like the Romulan Empire seems very under developed compared to other societies on the Star Trek TV shows.

scotpens May 15 2013 07:11 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
From TMOST:
Quote:

Romulans are highly militaristic, aggressive by nature, ruthless in warfare, and do not take captives. The Star Empire is a dictatorship, with some similarities to the warrior-stoic philosophies of Earth's ancient Roman Empire.
Quote:

Nerys Myk wrote: (Post 8090482)
One probably shouldn't take the idea of the Romulans being "Space Romans" too literally.

Exactly. The Romulans of TOS Trek were loosely based on a combination of ancient Rome and Sparta. They weren't meant to be a precise analog of any past Earth civilization.

Maurice May 15 2013 07:56 AM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
In Balance of Terror they act like they're from the Kriegsmarine (or Kriegsraumschiff), what with their talk of "If we are the strong, isn't this the signal for war?" and all that, right out of The Enemy Below.

Timo May 15 2013 03:19 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
That sort of speech isn't really specific to any culture or era - but the idea of a Praetor pursuing "a private little war" with personally sponsored forces is right out of the Roman textbooks of how to advance one's political career.

What's incompatible between secret police and democracy? As far as is known, all democracies today have a secret police, and all democracies of yesterday had one, too.

Timo Saloniemi

xvicente May 15 2013 03:29 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
They are Romans.... IN SPACE!!!!

Greg Cox May 15 2013 04:55 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Given Star Trek's Cold War roots, I always figured the Klingons were basically the Russians and the Romulans were the Red Chinese . . . .

Bry_Sinclair May 15 2013 05:03 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
You shouldn't forget the Romulan Empress. Exactly what her role is though has never been made clear though.

Timo May 15 2013 05:41 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Since she was only name-dropped in a Q rant ("Q and the Grey"), she could be a character from the distant past (as in Diane Duane fiction), from the distant future, or from an alternate timeline...

The same goes for the hundred-year Vulcan-Romulan war from the other Q-themed VOY episode ("Death Wish"): it may have taken place, it may yet take place, or it may require an all-new tense to be properly described.

Timo Saloniemi

The Overlord May 15 2013 07:02 PM

Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
 
Quote:

Timo wrote: (Post 8091637)
That sort of speech isn't really specific to any culture or era - but the idea of a Praetor pursuing "a private little war" with personally sponsored forces is right out of the Roman textbooks of how to advance one's political career.

What's incompatible between secret police and democracy? As far as is known, all democracies today have a secret police, and all democracies of yesterday had one, too.

Timo Saloniemi

I am not sure I would consider MI5 or the FBI similar to KGB or the Gestapo, the President of the US and the Prime Minister of the UK is criticized all the time and I don't see those people who are critical just disappear the next day. But you couldn't criticize Hitler or Stalin in such a manner and expect nothing will happen to you.

A CIA agent couldn't bully around members of the US military the way the Tal'Shiar bullied around members of the Romulan military in Face of the Enemy. So exactly who are these secret police organizations in all modern democracies?

A democracy needs more then elections to be a democracy, it needs more just elections, it needs rights of citizens to be respected.


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