RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,598
Posts: 5,404,546
Members: 24,869
Currently online: 463
Newest member: michiko

TrekToday headlines

Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Vol. 2 Comic
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

Cumberbatch In War Of Roses Miniseries
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

Trek 3 Filming Location Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

October-November 2014 Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

Cho Selfie TV Alert
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

TPTB To Shatner: Shhh!
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

Mystery Mini Vinyl Figure Display Box
By: T'Bonz on Sep 29

The Red Shirt Diaries Episode Five
By: T'Bonz on Sep 29

Shatner In Trek 3? Well Maybe
By: T'Bonz on Sep 28

Retro Review: Shadows and Symbols
By: Michelle on Sep 27


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Welcome to the Trek BBS! > General Trek Discussion

General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 15 2013, 10:17 PM   #16
Silvercrest
Rear Admiral
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The Overlord wrote: View Post
The Romulans have been called "Space Romans" in the past, but how accurate is that?
The Overlord wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
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.
It's not an explanation, it's a tag line. Who actually calls them that and expects it to convey technical accuracy?

Anyway, "Space Romans" is about as accurate as anything can be if you're limited to two words or less. You could just as easily tag Klingons as "Space Barbarians", Kirk's crew as "Space Cowboys", or Neelix as a "Space Hedgehog". But those are summations, not explanations.
Silvercrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15 2013, 10:37 PM   #17
Duncan MacLeod
Fleet Captain
 
Duncan MacLeod's Avatar
 
Location: New England
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

I think what The Overlord is getting at is that the only things that are remotely Roman about the Romulans, are their names.

As such tagging them as "Space Romans" makes no sense.
Duncan MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16 2013, 01:02 AM   #18
Geoff Peterson
Fleet Admiral
 
Geoff Peterson's Avatar
 
Location: 20 feet from an outlet
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post

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.
For most people "Roman" means Imperial Rome at it height,as seen in the movies. They aren't thinking of The Eastern Empire, the Holy Roman Empire or Tony Roma's.

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
I think what The Overlord is getting at is that the only things that are remotely Roman about the Romulans, are their names.

As such tagging them as "Space Romans" makes no sense.
Very few fans, if any, I've encountered refer to them as "Space Romans". That was just a starting point for developing the Romulans. By the Enterprise Incident, they didn't even use Roman sounding names anymore.
__________________
Nerys Myk
Geoff Peterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16 2013, 05:33 AM   #19
Silvercrest
Rear Admiral
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Who actually calls them that and expects it to convey technical accuracy?
Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
I think what The Overlord is getting at is that the only things that are remotely Roman about the Romulans, are their names.

As such tagging them as "Space Romans" makes no sense.
Fair enough. But as Nerys points out, maybe I should have left it at,
"Who actually calls them that?"
Silvercrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16 2013, 01:35 PM   #20
USS Einstein
Lieutenant Commander
 
USS Einstein's Avatar
 
Location: NCC-0500
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The Romulans were influenced by Rome, but also by other cultures, perhaps including Imperial Japan.

But what is most important in making a species believable, is making their culture rational and pragmatic. So, the Romulans are not a like-for-like model of the Roman Empire in space. Rather, we can perhaps infer, they have arrived at a similar culture through practical necessity.

Rome's system arose because it's rulers desired conquest, but had no justification for calling Egypt or Greece a part of Rome - they were foreign lands, and everybody knew it - and there was no Eastern concept of 'universal empire' in which nations became irrelevent, because Rome was rational and not given to idealistic flights, so instead the new territories became provinces, overseen by the senate, with regions governed by Proconsuls, etc. Wars were justified in terms of defence, often, as is necessary in an imperial democracy. We can perhaps infer that when the early Romulans entered space, starting as little more than thugs, they needed an imperial system by which a senate that only governed Romulus could govern other species - so their system of an imperial military, and proconsuls, etc, arose.
USS Einstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16 2013, 09:17 PM   #21
Marsden
Captain
 
Marsden's Avatar
 
Location: Getting killed so the captain can have tea later.
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

I've read that the Romulans actually consider themselves the dominant species of the galaxy and that it's their destiny to eventually conquer all. In that light, comparing them to Romans doesn't really work. How they got that attitude or if it's still the "offical" attitude or what generation is debateable.

The Vulcanoid species seems to have a tendency towards fanaticism, one devoted to peace and logic the other toward war and conquest. So extrapolate the Vulcan's logic to the Romulan's desire to be overlords and that's a reasonable conclusion.
__________________
"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and licks it. Or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
Marsden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16 2013, 11:18 PM   #22
Nightdiamond
Fleet Captain
 
Nightdiamond's Avatar
 
Location: California
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

They seem to be literally patterned after the Romans. Their home planets are called Romulus and Remus-- the same as the mythological founders of Rome. What a coincidence! Lol

Their soldiers are called centurians, they call themselves an empire. Even their hairstyle resembles the ancient roman style.

It was way too obvious they were meant to represent a menacing empire to the Federation.

It worked in TOS, but TNG toned them down and they seemed more like the mustache twirling villains trope.

Power and military wise, the Dominion appeared the most Roman-like.

Last edited by Nightdiamond; May 17 2013 at 02:23 AM.
Nightdiamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2013, 01:20 AM   #23
Rulius
Fleet Captain
 
Rulius's Avatar
 
Location: N.E. Ga.
View Rulius's Twitter Profile
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, roman or an empire. The only successor to the western half of the empire was Byzantium.
__________________
"Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves!"
Rulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2013, 05:24 PM   #24
George Steinbrenner
Fleet Admiral
 
George Steinbrenner's Avatar
 
Location: Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
View George Steinbrenner's Twitter Profile
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

Rulius wrote: View Post
The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, roman or an empire.
Dang, now I'm all verklempt.
__________________
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
George Steinbrenner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2013, 06:29 PM   #25
Marsden
Captain
 
Marsden's Avatar
 
Location: Getting killed so the captain can have tea later.
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

Rulius wrote: View Post
The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, roman or an empire. The only successor to the western half of the empire was Byzantium.

Charlemange isn't going to like this.
__________________
"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and licks it. Or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
Marsden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18 2013, 12:18 AM   #26
JirinPanthosa
Commodore
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The 'Space Romans' analogy worked better in TOS than in TNG and later. And, it only works if you think of Rome as first century Rome.

In TNG/DS9 I think they were meant more to be the USSR. A secretive, closed off, militaristic society with secret police who disappear people. In a cold war with the Federation, playing spy games with the Federation and Klingons, portrayed as wanting a war but not wanting to be viewed as the instigators.
JirinPanthosa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18 2013, 12:46 AM   #27
Gov Karnstein
Admiral
 
Gov Karnstein's Avatar
 
Location: Gov Kodos Regretably far from Boston
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
Gov Karnstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18 2013, 10:02 AM   #28
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

The Overlord wrote: View Post
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.
Not every secret police is there to bolster the ego of the head of state. Say, the secret police of 19th century Russia couldn't give a flying fuck about how people spoke of the silly Czar - but they made people disappear all right, in the name of national security and the rest of the usual excuses. The CIA does the very same thing nowadays.

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.
Why not? CIA controls some resources of its own for conducting aerial reconnaissance in Afghanistan, but apparently they confiscate the rest (say, airspace, frequencies, bandwidth and runways for UAVs) from the USAF, simply by virtue of being a higher authority.

So exactly who are these secret police organizations in all modern democracies?
You already listed some of them. Their methods of operation remain just as horrid as in the bad old days of the Czar's Okhrana, they torture and kill undesirables in the name of <insert virtue here>, and somehow they cannot be eradicated.

A democracy needs more then elections to be a democracy, it needs more just elections, it needs rights of citizens to be respected.
That's got nothing to do with democracies. A sovereign monarch may respect his subjects, and a democracy may torture and assassinate its subjects - indeed, both things are taking place in the 21st century just as much as they have done in the preceding ones.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18 2013, 11:18 AM   #29
TheSubCommander
Captain
 
TheSubCommander's Avatar
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

USS Einstein wrote: View Post
The Romulans were influenced by Rome, but also by other cultures, perhaps including Imperial Japan.

But what is most important in making a species believable, is making their culture rational and pragmatic. So, the Romulans are not a like-for-like model of the Roman Empire in space. Rather, we can perhaps infer, they have arrived at a similar culture through practical necessity.

Rome's system arose because it's rulers desired conquest, but had no justification for calling Egypt or Greece a part of Rome - they were foreign lands, and everybody knew it - and there was no Eastern concept of 'universal empire' in which nations became irrelevent, because Rome was rational and not given to idealistic flights, so instead the new territories became provinces, overseen by the senate, with regions governed by Proconsuls, etc. Wars were justified in terms of defence, often, as is necessary in an imperial democracy. We can perhaps infer that when the early Romulans entered space, starting as little more than thugs, they needed an imperial system by which a senate that only governed Romulus could govern other species - so their system of an imperial military, and proconsuls, etc, arose.
+1 this

And

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
The 'Space Romans' analogy worked better in TOS than in TNG and later. And, it only works if you think of Rome as first century Rome.

In TNG/DS9 I think they were meant more to be the USSR. A secretive, closed off, militaristic society with secret police who disappear people. In a cold war with the Federation, playing spy games with the Federation and Klingons, portrayed as wanting a war but not wanting to be viewed as the instigators.
+1 this


There are some very visual and some superficial connections to Rome and Romulans, but we must remember that Romulus and Remus are the Earth names for Romulans\Remans. Romulans and Remans, don't call themselves that in their own language. I also always thought that the 23rd century Romulans were more like the honorable adversary, rather than the enemy, and are almost sympathetic (like in Balance of terror). The 24th century Romulans are less sympathetic, less honorable, and less Vulcan-esk, too

Also, I had always felt that during TOS, the Romulans were the cold war analogy to the Communist Chinese, and the Klingons were analogous to the USSR, too.

During TNG yes they became more of a stereotypical villain. During first run, it was hard to compare the Romulans to any power in the post-Cold War era of the late 1980s and 1990s, but in retrospect, I think they can almost be compared to North Korea, if North Korea was an actual empire.
TheSubCommander is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 18 2013, 12:30 PM   #30
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: The Romulans as "Space Romans"

we must remember that Romulus and Remus are the Earth names for Romulans\Remans. Romulans and Remans, don't call themselves that in their own language.
ENT "Minefield" casts that very much in doubt.

When Romulans communicate with Hoshi Sato in their own language, she hears them identify themselves as the Rumalin. T'Pol corrects that to "Romulan" - probably because that's the preferred Vulcan pronunciation, as Hoshi must have gotten the Romulan pronunciation right on the first take.

Once it becomes known that these folks are the Romulans, the rest then probably follows. Earthlings learn (falsely!) that Romulans live on two homeworlds - so those become Romulus and Remus. Earthlings also learn of a system of representation, and apply whimsical Roman names to the various titles in that system. Likewise, they apply whimsical Roman names to the military titles and practices. All of this silliness is all the more to be expected since Earth and Romulus are at war at the time this all happens: the enemy is naturally cast in a silly light.

The Universal Translator at this time apparently isn't quite as advanced as it is in TOS and later Trek periods, but it may be blamed for some of these translations as well. Eager to satisfy its users, it may start to follow the "Roman pattern"...

...After all, it gave Kirk and Spock "troglytes" for a cave-dwelling culture, and it took some time for the heroes to figure this out. They hadn't put the thought in the UT's cyber-mind. And apparently nobody else had, either, because Spock would have known what those putative other Feds would have known about the state of affairs at Ardana.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
romulans

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.