Imperials are a race of men and women from the Cyrodiil, the province in the center of Tamriel. Members of the Imperial race are some of the most well-educated, wealthy, and well-spoken people in Tamriel. They have ruled the Empire of Tamriel for more than 2,000 years.
Main article: Cyrodiil
Cyrodiil is the cosmopolitan heartland of Tamriel. It has been the capital province of the Empire since the Reman Dynasty. It is home to the Imperial City where the Emperor and his Elder Council live and rule.
Imperials can be differentiated from Bretons and Nords by their fair to swarthy skin, as opposed to the typically fairer complexion of Bretons and Nords. However, Imperial skin tone is not as dark as that of Redguards. Imperials also have slightly sharper faces than other races of men. They are descend from the native Nedic and Cyro-Nordic peoples that were enslaved by the Ayleids.
The phrase "Imperial Race" is a bit of a misnomer. The people of Cyrodiil are divided into two ethno-cultural groups: Nibeneans and Colovians. Both descend from the native Nedic and Cyro-Nordic peoples that were enslaved by the Ayleids, but diverged a bit after consecutive invasions and interactions with other races. Colovian Imperials in Western Cyrodiil are more Nordic, sharing similar beliefs such as a heavy martial and seafaring tradition. Nibeneans have an Akaviri and, to a lesser degree, elven heritage. They have a greater appreciation for magic, art, commerce, and spirituality, in spite of being staunchly loyal to Alessian traditions. Both groups reflect the Empire's culture: a hybrid of Nordic, Aldmeri, and Akaviri culture.
Imperial characters often have Latin names. Examples include, Sorex Vinius, Tullius, Camilla Valerius, Cicero, etc., keeping with the overall Roman characteristics. However, starting with Skyrim, some Imperial names start to sound more Italian than Latin such as Viola Giordano, Severio Pelagia, Marcurio or Vittoria Vici, reflecting the change in language over time.