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Old June 28 2009, 03:25 PM   #16
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I think that was because the Obsidian Order weren't allowed (even by Central Command) to have their own ships, and so they had to use their own operatives as the crew for all the vessels. The reason the Obsidian Order was defunct after the Founder Homeworld incident was because nearly everyone in the Order was now dead, not just a scandal. The Tal Shiar may not have had such restrictions and maybe even authorization from the Empire to attack (The Romulans did try to blow up the wormhole before and that the normal military).
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Old June 29 2009, 07:58 AM   #17
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Are there nobles in the Romulan empire? Or emperors? We know there are senators and praetors, etc, but no Lord Vreenak, nor Empress Toreth. Maybe they did away with nobility in the two thousand years since leaving Vulcan or the Vulcans did before the Sundering. These people developed a sophisticated society well beyond our own...I find it difficult to beleive they remain stuck in outmoded forms of governance like clan superiority or divine right. On the other hand, these are Vulcanoids we're talking about: a people so screwed up they need to supress their emotions to survive.

Man, you know, the Vulcans really are some of the most alien aliens in all Trek.

Maybe the technologically advanced Klingons still use an archane system of governance because they got their technology by reverse-engineering it from their alien opressors, the Hur'q. That may also explain why they haven't advanced that far in the thousand years they've had warp, disruptors, transporters, etc (if the Hur'q had all those...they probably had warp anyway), whereas the Federation has grown in leaps and bounds in a fraciton of that time - because it's a free open meritocracy based on fairness and cooperation.
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Old June 29 2009, 02:11 PM   #18
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Just what I was thinking, when I was reading through the Trek Chronology and I saw the stuff about the Hurq it made me think that maybe the Klingons were like B5's Narns, who got their tech from what the Centauri left behind. It would explain why the tech progression took so long, they didn't really understand a lot of it and it took that much time to fully make it their own. Plus an Empire built mainly on war would really mess up the economy and affect technological progress.
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Old June 29 2009, 05:25 PM   #19
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
Just what I was thinking, when I was reading through the Trek Chronology and I saw the stuff about the Hurq it made me think that maybe the Klingons were like B5's Narns, who got their tech from what the Centauri left behind. It would explain why the tech progression took so long, they didn't really understand a lot of it and it took that much time to fully make it their own. Plus an Empire built mainly on war would really mess up the economy and affect technological progress.
The 21st century novels have pretty much confirmed this. I like the comparison to the Narns.
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Old June 29 2009, 07:09 PM   #20
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Just what I was thinking, when I was reading through the Trek Chronology and I saw the stuff about the Hurq it made me think that maybe the Klingons were like B5's Narns, who got their tech from what the Centauri left behind. It would explain why the tech progression took so long, they didn't really understand a lot of it and it took that much time to fully make it their own. Plus an Empire built mainly on war would really mess up the economy and affect technological progress.
The 21st century novels have pretty much confirmed this. I like the comparison to the Narns.
To me the Narn Regime seems to resemble the Cardassian Union in some respects as both are aggressive, resource poor empires with a history of deceit and arrogant aggression towards their neighbors.
Of course after the fall of Narn they became a mix of Klingons and Bajorians and redeemed their warlike past (much like Damar and his revoultionaries did for the CU).


I'm surprised that it's taken me so long to join this thread. I'll post more later after I've had a proper read though all the other posts...
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Old June 29 2009, 07:18 PM   #21
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Just what I was thinking, when I was reading through the Trek Chronology and I saw the stuff about the Hurq it made me think that maybe the Klingons were like B5's Narns, who got their tech from what the Centauri left behind. It would explain why the tech progression took so long, they didn't really understand a lot of it and it took that much time to fully make it their own. Plus an Empire built mainly on war would really mess up the economy and affect technological progress.
The 21st century novels have pretty much confirmed this. I like the comparison to the Narns.
To me the Narn Regime seems to resemble the Cardassian Union in some respects as both are aggressive, resource poor empires with a history of deceit and arrogant aggression towards their neighbors.
Of course after the fall of Narn they became a mix of Klingons and Bajorians and redeemed their warlike past (much like Damar and his revoultionaries did for the CU)
Hmm, yes, can't believe I overlooked that. Of course, now I have visions of Damar becoming someone like G'Kar, if only he had survived...
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Old June 29 2009, 07:26 PM   #22
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

^. That would have been brilliant, and it would have helped Cardassia back on its feet. Still Mr Garak is getting there...

I'm just trying to imagine what a book of Damar would read like.
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Old June 29 2009, 11:09 PM   #23
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
Plus an Empire built mainly on war would really mess up the economy and affect technological progress.
War actually tends to accelerate the development of technology. Military technology, anyway.
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Old June 30 2009, 01:46 AM   #24
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Precisely, can technology exclusive to war feed the people? Can it improve living conditions? Better war tech means for a better army and more resource raids but I doubt it can go on forever. It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
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Old June 30 2009, 02:34 AM   #25
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

IIRC, wasn't it mentioned in "Chain of Command" that the Cardassian military gained power in the government because the civilian government wasn't the best equipped to provide for all of the people's needs? Or something to that effect?
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Old June 30 2009, 12:14 PM   #26
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Madred used the crippled economy and general poor state of living he went through as a boy to justify the military takeover which brought about new territories and resources (plunder and annexed) they used to try and rebuild Cardassia. They never mentioned just WHAT caused the prior civilian government to fail though.
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Old June 30 2009, 06:24 PM   #27
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Wow, so I wrote a really long response yesterday that wouldn't post when the board seemed to go down for a while, and now is gone. Awesome.

There've been some really great responses to this thread so far. I think one topic that hasn't been addressed in depth so far, and the one that probably needs to be, is the issue of ancient Vulcans.

When I think ancient Vulcans, I think of our own ancient Egyptians here, from the deserty climate to the giant statues to the colorful costumes and even the dog facemasks from "Amok Time." The ancient Vulcans even seem to possess command of ancient mystical knowledge unknown to theire later descendants, much as many believe the Egyptians did. I think that the Romulans, probably, are more of a direct indication of the personality of these ancient Vulcans than the modern Vulcans are. I imagine that ancient Vulcans had an Emperor/Emperess. We know that modern Romulans have a fairly stratified society - we've seen that aristocrats/soldiers seem to occupy a highest caste, with a "working class" now seen in Nero and his fellow miners, and slaves seen in the Remans. I'd suggest that perhaps ancient Vulcan society followed a similar stratification, only withour Reman slaves. Perhaps this is where the ridged foreheads come into play, and those are seen as an "inferior race?"

We know, from "Return to Tomorrow" that Vulcan was visited (and possibly colonized) by Sargon's people some 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Given apparent similarities between Sargon's more evolved state (able to exist as a disembodied consciousness within a "container") and what we've seen Spock, at least, capable of, I'd suggest that the Vulcanoids are definitely a more primitive version of Sargon's people. We know that there are "proto-Vulcans" even in the 24th century (the Mintakans) and there were other offshoots such as the Debrune that are said to have died out. (If memory serves, the Debrune were said to be a Romulan off-shoot, though?) In any case, we have Vulcans, and we have proto-Vulcans living on several planets between Vulcan and Romulus. I see two possibilities here: either many or all of these are results of colonizations by Sargon's people, and took place in antiquity long before the Time of Awakening, or these colonizations took place around the same time as the Time of Awakening and may have had something to do with the Romulan exodus.

I'm undecided on when these other proto-Vulcans left Vulcan (or if they were simply colonists of Sargon's original people) but I'm inclined to think in either case, based on what we now know from "Enterprise," that the Romulans left around the Time of Awakening. This both accounts for the Vulcans' apparent recollection of "those who marched under raptor's wings" and the Romulans' infiltration of Vulcan and designs on reconquering it in the 2150s. We know that the teachings of Surak offered the Vulcans a type of salvation from their warring ways (I believe that it was stated that at one point 90% of the planet was at war with itself) and I can't help but see parallels between the Roman Empire and Christianity. I imagine the Surakians (Surakites?) slowly infiltrating and spreading throughout the Vulcan leadership, until Vulcan leaders were "forced" to accept the teachings of Surak much as what happened in the Roman Empire with Christianity.

That leads me to think that the Romulans, marching under raptor's wings and all, must have subscribed to a somewhat opposite "theology" and offered a different type of salvation from the constant warring or from Surak's teachings. In "The Making of Star Trek" it's suggested that the Romulans substitute the logical, non-emotional approach of Vulcans with a "warrior stoic," which makes me think of a bushido-type code. Perhaps the future Romulans were primarily military/aristocracy who adhered to this code and opposed the loss in power that the teachings of Surak caused? Perhaps there was a civil war for control of the planet, that solidified that "warring 90%" into two factions, with the followers of Surak emerging as the victors. I imagine here that the victors offered the "rebels" the chance to redeem themselves and adhere to the teachings of Surak, but the "dishonored" rebels, still following their honor code, chose instead to go into exile, and left in either sleeper ships or very primitive FTL ships. (Given ENT's depiction of Vulcan warp drive, I might be inclined to believe the latter.)

In any case, I'm inclined to think that whatever interstellar colonization or empire may have lingered from the time of Sargon's people had long collapsed into disarray by this point. Perhaps the exiled future Romulans followed some ancient knowledge of where outposts were or once were, or stumbled upon ruins and followed them, until finding Romulus, a world with a sister planet, Remus, very rich in minerals and other resources, but located in an otherwise resource-poor region of space, accounting for their apparent resource-poverty and need to "fight smarter."

Then, of course, is the question of the Remans. I know that some have suggested that the Remans might have been mutates of the Romulan exiles. I'd suggest another alternative: perhaps the Remans were another group of "colonists" from Sargon's people, who did indeed mutate (or were mutated purposefully) for the climate of Remus? Perhaps it was originally Sargon's people who used them to mine the planet, and, when their empire failed, the Remans "reverted" to a primitive state, allowing the new Romulans to exploit them upon their arrival? IMO, the idea of an empire of sorts of Sargon's people accounting for the various Vulcanoids resolves the Reman issue nicely without having to go into rapid mutation - 200,000 years versus 2,000.

With a base of slave-labor established, I think the original Romulan society was probably not unlike the pre-Surak Vulcan society, with the addition of the bushido-type code that allowed them to stabilize. I can easily see various nobles and warriors fighting nonetheless for power and land early on before establishing a proper unified solar system. It's possible, I think, that there may have been a sort of "Dark Age" after the colonization of Romulus, in which the Romulans lost much of any technology they brought with them to infighting before properly establishing their empire. This may explain the account regarding warp drive "turning thugs into an Empire," but I don't think this discovery happened until sometime around the 20th or 21st century. VGR's "Death Wish" notes that Quinn began a war between the Vulcans and Romulans that lasted for a century, and this might be a good place to fit this, if not sooner. I'd say no later.

Prior, I think that several nobles would have declared themselves Emperor and Emperess, and fought for control, until one finally established dominance and solidified his/her position, ultimately unifying the entire planet under Imperial control. I think that the Continuing Committee probably began as some type of advisory council to the Emperor, until gaining more and more power, and eventually, combining with the Senate to wrest most power away. The Tal Shiar, I think, probably began as a type of Royal Guard for the Emperor/Senate, especially given that it's name origin seems to share origins with the Vulcan word for tal-shaya, referring to a type of merciful execution. The Praetor, initially, would have probably acted as a Prime Minister, until finally gaining almost full political power as the line of the Emperor muddied. I can't help but wonder if the Earth-Romulan war might have been a springboard for the Praetor and Senate wresting control away from the Imperial bloodline? In any case, sometime between the Earth-Romulan War and the events of "Balance of Terror," the Praetor must have come to power to make dialog in the latter make sense.

I think the Romulan War was fought not only to perhaps reclaim their "right" as conquerors of Vulcans, but also to access vital resources that were in space occupied by Earth and her allies. I see this war as an attempt to "set up the chess board" allowing access to resources to cement their victories in future battles. I can see this loss in the Earth-Romulan War and shift from the Emperor to the Praetor/Senate as indicative of a major cultural shift in the Empire, away from the bushido-type code into more of a "survival mode" in which traditional values would begin to fade away in favor or pragmatism. It's possible that the Empire's defeat by Earth was a very critical event, forcing the Empire down its initial path of xenophobia and paranoia. As Sci suggests, I can see an 18th century British model here with aristocracy holding power and inheriting membership in the senate, with the Tal Shiar gaining independent power as the influence of the Emperor waned. I'm of two minds as to whether the Empire continued to have an Emperor/Emperess at this point. Based on what Q said about mating with "the Romulan Emperess," I'm inclined to think that there did indeed continue to be a well-secluded, ceremonial Imperial throne into the 24th century.

So then we have, more or less, our "modern" Empire established. I'll have some more thoughts later on how I see the Empire evolving.
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Old June 30 2009, 06:28 PM   #28
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

^ Whoa! and all I've got is my typical Cardie one liners.
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Old June 30 2009, 08:05 PM   #29
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Praetor wrote: View Post
Wow, so I wrote a really long response yesterday that wouldn't post when the board seemed to go down for a while, and now is gone. Awesome.

There've been some really great responses to this thread so far. I think one topic that hasn't been addressed in depth so far, and the one that probably needs to be, is the issue of ancient Vulcans.

When I think ancient Vulcans, I think of our own ancient Egyptians here, from the deserty climate to the giant statues to the colorful costumes and even the dog facemasks from "Amok Time." The ancient Vulcans even seem to possess command of ancient mystical knowledge unknown to theire later descendants, much as many believe the Egyptians did. I think that the Romulans, probably, are more of a direct indication of the personality of these ancient Vulcans than the modern Vulcans are. I imagine that ancient Vulcans had an Emperor/Emperess. We know that modern Romulans have a fairly stratified society - we've seen that aristocrats/soldiers seem to occupy a highest caste, with a "working class" now seen in Nero and his fellow miners, and slaves seen in the Remans. I'd suggest that perhaps ancient Vulcan society followed a similar stratification, only withour Reman slaves. Perhaps this is where the ridged foreheads come into play, and those are seen as an "inferior race?"

We know, from "Return to Tomorrow" that Vulcan was visited (and possibly colonized) by Sargon's people some 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Given apparent similarities between Sargon's more evolved state (able to exist as a disembodied consciousness within a "container") and what we've seen Spock, at least, capable of, I'd suggest that the Vulcanoids are definitely a more primitive version of Sargon's people. We know that there are "proto-Vulcans" even in the 24th century (the Mintakans) and there were other offshoots such as the Debrune that are said to have died out. (If memory serves, the Debrune were said to be a Romulan off-shoot, though?) In any case, we have Vulcans, and we have proto-Vulcans living on several planets between Vulcan and Romulus. I see two possibilities here: either many or all of these are results of colonizations by Sargon's people, and took place in antiquity long before the Time of Awakening, or these colonizations took place around the same time as the Time of Awakening and may have had something to do with the Romulan exodus.

I'm undecided on when these other proto-Vulcans left Vulcan (or if they were simply colonists of Sargon's original people) but I'm inclined to think in either case, based on what we now know from "Enterprise," that the Romulans left around the Time of Awakening. This both accounts for the Vulcans' apparent recollection of "those who marched under raptor's wings" and the Romulans' infiltration of Vulcan and designs on reconquering it in the 2150s. We know that the teachings of Surak offered the Vulcans a type of salvation from their warring ways (I believe that it was stated that at one point 90% of the planet was at war with itself) and I can't help but see parallels between the Roman Empire and Christianity. I imagine the Surakians (Surakites?) slowly infiltrating and spreading throughout the Vulcan leadership, until Vulcan leaders were "forced" to accept the teachings of Surak much as what happened in the Roman Empire with Christianity.

That leads me to think that the Romulans, marching under raptor's wings and all, must have subscribed to a somewhat opposite "theology" and offered a different type of salvation from the constant warring or from Surak's teachings. In "The Making of Star Trek" it's suggested that the Romulans substitute the logical, non-emotional approach of Vulcans with a "warrior stoic," which makes me think of a bushido-type code. Perhaps the future Romulans were primarily military/aristocracy who adhered to this code and opposed the loss in power that the teachings of Surak caused? Perhaps there was a civil war for control of the planet, that solidified that "warring 90%" into two factions, with the followers of Surak emerging as the victors. I imagine here that the victors offered the "rebels" the chance to redeem themselves and adhere to the teachings of Surak, but the "dishonored" rebels, still following their honor code, chose instead to go into exile, and left in either sleeper ships or very primitive FTL ships. (Given ENT's depiction of Vulcan warp drive, I might be inclined to believe the latter.)

In any case, I'm inclined to think that whatever interstellar colonization or empire may have lingered from the time of Sargon's people had long collapsed into disarray by this point. Perhaps the exiled future Romulans followed some ancient knowledge of where outposts were or once were, or stumbled upon ruins and followed them, until finding Romulus, a world with a sister planet, Remus, very rich in minerals and other resources, but located in an otherwise resource-poor region of space, accounting for their apparent resource-poverty and need to "fight smarter."

Then, of course, is the question of the Remans. I know that some have suggested that the Remans might have been mutates of the Romulan exiles. I'd suggest another alternative: perhaps the Remans were another group of "colonists" from Sargon's people, who did indeed mutate (or were mutated purposefully) for the climate of Remus? Perhaps it was originally Sargon's people who used them to mine the planet, and, when their empire failed, the Remans "reverted" to a primitive state, allowing the new Romulans to exploit them upon their arrival? IMO, the idea of an empire of sorts of Sargon's people accounting for the various Vulcanoids resolves the Reman issue nicely without having to go into rapid mutation - 200,000 years versus 2,000.

With a base of slave-labor established, I think the original Romulan society was probably not unlike the pre-Surak Vulcan society, with the addition of the bushido-type code that allowed them to stabilize. I can easily see various nobles and warriors fighting nonetheless for power and land early on before establishing a proper unified solar system. It's possible, I think, that there may have been a sort of "Dark Age" after the colonization of Romulus, in which the Romulans lost much of any technology they brought with them to infighting before properly establishing their empire. This may explain the account regarding warp drive "turning thugs into an Empire," but I don't think this discovery happened until sometime around the 20th or 21st century. VGR's "Death Wish" notes that Quinn began a war between the Vulcans and Romulans that lasted for a century, and this might be a good place to fit this, if not sooner. I'd say no later.

Prior, I think that several nobles would have declared themselves Emperor and Emperess, and fought for control, until one finally established dominance and solidified his/her position, ultimately unifying the entire planet under Imperial control. I think that the Continuing Committee probably began as some type of advisory council to the Emperor, until gaining more and more power, and eventually, combining with the Senate to wrest most power away. The Tal Shiar, I think, probably began as a type of Royal Guard for the Emperor/Senate, especially given that it's name origin seems to share origins with the Vulcan word for tal-shaya, referring to a type of merciful execution. The Praetor, initially, would have probably acted as a Prime Minister, until finally gaining almost full political power as the line of the Emperor muddied. I can't help but wonder if the Earth-Romulan war might have been a springboard for the Praetor and Senate wresting control away from the Imperial bloodline? In any case, sometime between the Earth-Romulan War and the events of "Balance of Terror," the Praetor must have come to power to make dialog in the latter make sense.

I think the Romulan War was fought not only to perhaps reclaim their "right" as conquerors of Vulcans, but also to access vital resources that were in space occupied by Earth and her allies. I see this war as an attempt to "set up the chess board" allowing access to resources to cement their victories in future battles. I can see this loss in the Earth-Romulan War and shift from the Emperor to the Praetor/Senate as indicative of a major cultural shift in the Empire, away from the bushido-type code into more of a "survival mode" in which traditional values would begin to fade away in favor or pragmatism. It's possible that the Empire's defeat by Earth was a very critical event, forcing the Empire down its initial path of xenophobia and paranoia. As Sci suggests, I can see an 18th century British model here with aristocracy holding power and inheriting membership in the senate, with the Tal Shiar gaining independent power as the influence of the Emperor waned. I'm of two minds as to whether the Empire continued to have an Emperor/Emperess at this point. Based on what Q said about mating with "the Romulan Emperess," I'm inclined to think that there did indeed continue to be a well-secluded, ceremonial Imperial throne into the 24th century.

So then we have, more or less, our "modern" Empire established. I'll have some more thoughts later on how I see the Empire evolving.
Wow. This is very well thought-through!
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Old July 1 2009, 02:18 AM   #30
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

How long did it take you to write that up? You should be a historian.
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