The first Grand Nagus

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Abi Smith, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Commander Red Shirt

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    We know Surak brought logic to Vulcans and Kahless is the founding father to the Klingons.
    So I can only guess that the Ferengi who decided to pursue profit not just as philosophy but also as the basis for an entire culture was surely the same one who invented the umbrella on Ferenginar.
     
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  2. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    As much as DS9 gave us of Ferengi culture, we never got much of the history. Somebody needs to write a book! (With the complete Rules of Acquisition in the Appendix)
     
  3. 1.21 Gigawatts

    1.21 Gigawatts Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is there a question here to discuss? DS9 establishes that the Ferengi used to be charitable long ago, and became the profit-driven folks later on in their history. And there had been multiple editions of the "Rules," so perhaps the 1st edition had some of those earlier values represented before getting overwritten.
     
  4. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The first Grand Nagus would be Gint, who Quark "met" in a dream in the DS9 episode "Body Parts." Gint wrote the original version of the Rules of Acquisition.

    Kor
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Worf met Kahless in the flesh; Archer met Surak in the soul, so to speak. Neither meeting did much to convince the audience that these figures ever actually existed. Although from the heroes' point of view, the meeting with Surak would seem to be well founded in concretia (as long as one believes in Vulcan mumbo-jumbo), whereas the meeting with Kahless just confirmed that no proof can ever exist when fraud is so easily arranged for.

    Did Gint exist? Powerful forces would be in operation to ensure that proof on this would be available (at a suitable fee), which again would do little to assure anybody that the guy (gal?) actually existed. Gint would go back several thousands of years, apparently; Surak, only two thousand; Kahless, mere fifteen centuries or so. So, what sort of proof would exist? Gint's culture would have known how to write (to wit, the Rules); Surak's left texts, too, seen in ENT. Kahless' culture is steeped in oral tradition, though; would there be writings from his day? OTOH, Klingons rewrite their own history a lot anyway.

    We don't know much about the life expectancy of the Ferengi. Both Vulcans and Klingons seem to reach two hundred years easily enough, unless violently killed, so there would be relatively few "generations" between Surak or Kahless and the characters' present (that is, living witnesses passing on personal knowledge directly to younger folks, rather than generations in the breeding sense). And we can suppose all three species would have their detractors, sworn enemies who closely interacted with the cultures back in the day and would have their own versions of history (anybody the Ferengi ever swindled / Romulans / anybody the Klingons ever conquered or beat up); none appear to deny the existence of the founding fathers in question.

    In the stories, Kahless invented the sword, Surak invented logic, and Gint no doubt invented the umbrella. In reality, nothing of the sort is likely to have happened. But single individuals having extreme sway in the respective histories is quite plausible - and stories spun about important individuals would be likely, too, as each of the three cultures would be comforting itself while greatly reduced in stature or otherwise hurt (the Ferengi getting their ears handed to them by any and all military opponents / Vulcans bombing themselves to stone age / Klingons getting whipped by the Hur'q).

    What other cultures have such important figures in Trek? The 24th century humans don't seem to trace their alturistic-hypocritical ways back to Jesus of Nazareth or Buddha or Nietzsche or anybody like that. We never heard of a great ancient Andorian, just of their Magalhaes (or, rather, his or her ship). A Founding Tellarite awaits to be named. Any others?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    No founding Cardassian, Bolian, Breen or Romulan that I can remember. :shrug:

    Kor
     
  7. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

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    I'm suddenly very intrigued by a possible Romulan founding figure... they ought to have a Moses-like mythological figure leading them to their promised land and their mythology might even include Surak himself as a central evil character responsible for their banishment from Vulcan. And just as I was typing this I realized the destruction of Romulus could make for some really interesting parallels to Jewish history if they're forced to scatter through the galaxy after Hobus.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the novels, the guy is named S'Task.

    But the real story of the Romulans has not been told onscreen. Might be they were born long before the sundering with Surakists. Might be they are but copycats, a sect pretending to be those who once left. Might be there's a big conspiracy and Vulcan and Romulus are actually best pals. The slate is still clean - perhaps ST:Picard will paint something on it?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Santa Quark

    Santa Quark Admiral Admiral

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    I’s be interested to see the story of the formation of the Tal Shiar, how the Romulans transformed from the Roman inspired honorable enemy of TOS to the paranoid conspiratorial version of TNG.

    Maybe it started as a populist revolution, then they formed the Tal Shiar as a response to a few incidents of sabotage (Maybe by 31) and a power seeking leader used them as a means to absolute power.
     
  10. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The first Grand Nagus was an orange-haired Ferengi named Trmp. He was a pre-existing billionaire who was elected president by convincing them he could Make Ferenginar Great Again. Once everyone went along with it, he changed the name of his title, laid down the first Rules of Acquisition, and the rest is history.
     
  11. Santa Quark

    Santa Quark Admiral Admiral

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    The ghostwriter was originally hired to write a flattering autobiography but convinced him he’d come off as more brilliant if he made it about business strategy, and he wrote a book The Art Of Acquisition. The rules were originally an appendix to it.

    He then ran on a platform of an open free market, but then he created the Ferengi Commerce Authority, under control of the wealthy, to enforce strict commerce laws benefiting its leaders, arguing this was how to make the market more free.
     
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  12. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's likely the FCA was "re-purposed" from an existing government agency, the FTC (Ferengi Trade Commission).
     
  13. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    We always heard about and saw the "Grand Nagus," the top dog. But there were also lesser Naguses (Nagi?) such as the "District Sub-Nagus" mentioned in passing in DS9 "Playing God." I kind of wished we learned a little more about the whole structure of Ferengi commerce/government/whatever.

    Kor
     
  14. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    The idea that the Romulans left Vulcan to evade the reforms of Surak is not logical according to the historical evidence.

    In "Balance of Terror" Spock informs the crew that the Romulan War was fought a century earlier in primitive space ships with primitive weapons:

    Spock does manage to get a image of the Romulan Bridge.

    Thus it is discovered that Romulans look like Vulcans.

    Later:

    So Spock believes that Romulans are descended from Vulcans and that Romulan society separated from Vulcan society an unspecified period of time in the past, instead of Romulans being the result of convergent evolution. And Spock apparently believes that Vulcan's aggressive colonizing period included an era of interstellar travel, exploration, settlement, and conquest, because he speculates that Romulans are offshoots of Vulcans instead of Vulcans being offshoots of Romulans.

    But if Vulcan had an advanced society with interstellar travel ever since Romulus was colonized by Vulcan, the UFP would be dominated by Vulcans, and Vulcan records would show that Romulus was a Vulcan colony and everyone would know that the Romulans looked like Vulcans, and presumably Romulus would never have become independent of Vulcan.

    So clearly the Vulcan interstellar society collapsed and records of the location of colony planets like Romulus were lost.

    In "Amok Time", on Vulcan:

    So Spock's recorded family history goes back for than two thousand Earth years, which means that the recorded history of that region of Vulcan goes back at least that far. And before that would be a period of unknown length before the recorded history began, and before that the period of the earlier Vulcan civilization that eventually had interstellar travel before collapsing.

    In Enterprise "The Andorian Incident":

    So the Vulcan sanctuary of P'Jem is on a planet that is not in the same solar system as Vulcan. So obviously Vulcan had some type of interstellar travel when P'Jem was established.

    So Vulcan had some sort of interstellar travel almost three thousand years before ENT, and recorded history on Vulcan goes back more than two thousand Earth years by TOS. That leaves less than a thousand years for the old Vulcan civilization to fall and for a new Vulcan civilization to arise and for history to start to be recorded. Since that seems like a very short time for that to happen, the first Vulcan space travelling civilization probably fell a lot more than three thousand years ago and P'Jem was probably built by the second Vulcan space travelling civilization.

    But if the second Vulcan space travelling civilization explored space continually for three thousand years it should have founded the Federation thousands of years before the Federation was founded. So the second Vulcan space travelling civilization should have suffered a major setback that may have kept it from exploring space for centuries or millennia.

    Vulcan would have resumed interstellar travel by the time of Star Trek: First Contact in the year 2063 of an unspecified calendar and before about AD 1957 according to Enterprise Carbon Creek":

    In Enterprise "The Forge":

    "The Forge" should happen in AD 2154 according to the official chronology, which is not necessarily canon or correct. If the reforms of Surak were about 1,700 to 1,900 years earlier, they would have been sometime in the period of about AD 254 to AD 454, plus or minus however much the official dates are off the correct dates.

    If the last terrible wars on Vulcan were before the reforms of Surak, and if AD 1957 was almost 1,500 years - between 1,450 and 1,500 years - after them, they would have happened about AD 457 to AD 507. Thus it seems likely that Vulcan resumed interstellar travel decades or centuries before AD 1957, so that the last terrible wars on Vulcan were before the reforms of Surak.

    In TOS "The Savage Curtain" an image of Surak is met:

    This strongly implies that the previous devastating wars happened during Surak's lifetime, and so were probably long after AD 1, since the Vulcan life span is probably no more than 250 years, and the earliest possible date for the reforms of Surak would be about AD 254.

    So to sum up, the first Vulcan interstellar civilization colonized planets, such as Romulus, in distant star systems. Then Civilization fell on Vulcan, Romulus, and other colonies.

    Many thousands of years later, civilization arose on Vulcan again. Eventually Vulcan began exploring the stars, and the monastery at P'Jem was established by about 500 BC. About AD 250-450, Vulcan suffered devastating wars, and lost the ability to travel in interstellar space. About that same time time of AD 250-450 the reforms of Surak prevented another war and brought peace to Vulcan. Spock's family acquired their koon-ut-kal-if-fee place by about AD 267, and so probably before the reforms of Surak.

    So what about Romulan history?

    In the TNG episode "Gambit, Part 1", which happens in AD 2370 according to the official - but not necessarily correct - chronology:

    So the home planet(s) of the Debrune would have been in one or more other star systems and they would have needed interstellar travel to have an outpost on Barradas III about AD 270 to 470, 1,900 to 2,100 years before "Gambit Part 1".

    Later:

    If the Debrune had interstellar travel by about AD 270 to 470, about the time of the reforms of Surak, the Romulans should have been active a long time before the reforms of Surak.

    So Romulan history would have gone like this:

    The first Vulcan interstellar civilization colonized planets, such as Romulus, in distant star systems. Then civilization fell on Vulcan, Romulus, and other colonies.

    Many thousands of years later, civilization arose on Romulus again. Eventually Romulus began exploring the stars, establishing colonies, and conquering planets. The Debrune were a Romulan offshoot, either a colony or Romulans, or maybe mixtures of Romulans and other aliens, or maybe an artificial species created to serve the Romulans.

    Eventually Romulan civilization fell on Romulus, the Debrune home world(s) and other Romulan planets.

    Many thousands of years later, the Debrune developed an advanced interstellar civilization and had an outpost on Barradas III by about AD 270 to 470. However, something prevented the Debrune from becoming the most powerful and important space traveling civilization in this region of space.

    Eventually, Romulan civilization was rebuilt for the second time, and the Romulans resumed interstellar travel and founded the Romulan Empire by the time of Enterprise about the 2150s.

    I believe that my chronology is as accurate as possible. To me it seems very doubtful that the Romulans were founded by S'Task leading dissident Vulcans to escape from the reforms of Surak about AD 254 to 454 to settle a planet where they could enjoy the benefits of war and violence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  15. Abbey Chrimble

    Abbey Chrimble Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    What, there were no conspiratorial and/or paranoid Romans?
     
  16. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The Forge mentioned "those who marched beneath the raptor's wings, those who wanted to return to the savage ways." Fandom assumed this referred to proto-Romulans.

    Kor
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That Spock would be candid about the Romulans in "Balance of Terror" is far from certain. To the unititiated, it actually looks as if he's keen on destroying evidence, which is why he recommends hunting down and blowing up the enemy...

    On the other hand, Spock might simply be ignorant, explaining why he agrees to tapping into the enemy vessel's CCTV. Then again, his ability to do so is rather Romulan, both indicating familiarity with Romulan tech and mirroring the Romulan doctrine of hijacking enemy data systems.

    In any case, we don't have to worry much about contradictions, as little of the Romulan history has been discussed onscreen. The official truth might be that S'Task's folks left in a huff, or perhaps that their colony world severed communications with Vulcan, possibly due to actions relating to Surak's faction even if not to Surak himself. But that truth has not been stated by a character yet, so it need not be accepted - but not challenged, either.

    That either Vulcan or Romulan culture would descend to chaos is not a particularly far-fetched idea: pretty much this is stated as regards Vulcans, and OTOH chaos is more or literally in the Vulcanoid blood. But that one or both civilizations would lose knowledge of starflight altogether, or of each other... This, again, need not be assumed. "Offshoot" is a confirmed feature of both civilizations (Spock refers to known offshoots of Vulcan in "Paradise Syndrome"), and implies the "parent" cultures simply leave the offshoots be. Which might well be the Way of the Desert, where strangers and distant kings are assets rather than threats whilst thy neighbor is thine enemy.

    Personally, I favor the model where Romulans, the raptor-wing folks, were a long-preexisting faction on planet Vulcan that lost a bitter fight for the possession of the place, and retreated to its colonial bases while Vulcan lost its own one by one after having weakened by the conflict. Moreover, the Romulans were (mostly from a) distinct racial group with ridges, a possible motivation for the conflict in the first place. Other Vulcan factions may have isolated themselves on their own colonies, or may have been crushed, and each offshoot in turn may have gone the Vulcan way, further splitting until little was left.

    What would Surak's role there be? Sorting out the culture of the victors after the bodies of the losers had been burned? Mitigating the final confrontation by making the leaders see reason? Provoking the final conflict by having the masses split on the issue of passion? Dying in obscurity, but leaving behind writings that would inspire the recovering Vulcan? Little has been told, even though we have seen the man himself. He did say he "helped create" a culture on Vulcan, but the role of that culture in the bits of history we know isn't all that clear.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Delta Geminorum

    Delta Geminorum Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Perhaps the Vulcans visited Earth before First Contact.
     
  19. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Like in "Carbon Creek."

    Kor
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    All places get visited on Trek, by everybody, at all times. Except after they learn of outer space.. We can't argue that a temporary loss of Vulcan starflight would solve anything, such as "why wasn't X conquered?", as even if Vulcans and Romulans were grounded, there would be others. It's just a feature of Trek that these others visit rather than conquer.

    Timo Saloniemi