Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"
The Romans and the Classical era were still quite popular in film when TOS was made. Sword and Sandal imagery in names and titles would quickly convey a sense of empire, honor, conquest to the audience in quick popular shorthand. Twenty years later, that vogue gone, the Romulans got completely changed from the TOS version, or more accurately perhaps, the patina didn't carry the same imagery for the makers and their audience. I don't think they meant the Romulans to be space Romans, but they did want to convey a verisimilitude to a pop culture image of a people like those in sword and sandal films.
We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound... our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color... we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star! Endora, Bewitched