The empire can be traced back to the late Merethic Era when Ysgramor first set foot on Skyrim at Hsaarik Head and continued until the death of Borgas in 1E 369. The capital of the empire was located in Windhelm, where the Palace of the Kings still dominates the center of the ancient city. 
The origins of the first Empire of the Nords date back to the late Merethic Era when Ysgramor and his sons escaped the slaughter of the first human city of Saarthal by the native Elves. He returned to Skyrim with an army known as the Five Hundred Companions and lead a reprisal campaign against the elvish population. The city of Saarthal was retaken and eventually rebuilt . Ysgramor then ordered the construction of Windhelm which would serve as the capital of the Empire. 
In the following years, Ysgramor and his army hunted the remaining Elves to near extinction. Once Skyrim had been purged of Snow Elves, the ancient Nords turned their attention to Solstheim where a great number of skirmishes were said to have taken place.
Harald's reignEditHarald was born in 1E 113 and rose to High King in 1E 143. He was the thirteenth of the line of Ysgramor, and is remembered as being the first King to relinquish all holdings in Atmora. Thus it was he that truly made the Nords a separate people. 
In 1E 240, King Vrage the Gifted began the ruthless military expansion from Skyrim into other provinces. The campaign was later called the Skyrim Conquests and within a span of fifty years, the Empire ruled all of northern Tamriel, including most of present-day High Rock, a deep stretch of the Nibenay Valley in Cyrodiil, and the whole of Morrowind.
Gellir continued Vrage's legacy of expansion and conquest. Historians have attributed him as a master tactician in his wars against the Dwemer where several Dwemer cities all across Skyrim fell to his armies. 
Borgas of Winterhold was the last of the Ysgramor Dynasty.  He was perhaps best know for outlawing the old Nordic pantheon of deities . He is also believed to be the last monarch to wear the legendary Jagged Crown .
The following is a list of kings from the Ysgramor Dynasty and their respective reigns.
- Ysgramor - late Merethic Era.
- Harald (1E 143 - 1E 221) 
- Vrage - (1E 221 - 1E 2?) 
- Gellir - (1E 2? - 1E ?) 
- Borgas - (1E ? - 1E 369)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition/Skyrim
- ↑ Imperial Report on Saarthal
- ↑ Songs of the Return, Vol 19
- ↑ Fall of the Snow Prince
- ↑ Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Plaque outside of the Palace of the Kings
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Frontier, Conquest
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Aetherium Wars
- ↑ Five Songs of King Wulfharth#Shor's Tongue
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dialogue with Galmar Stone-Fist
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 A History of Daggerfall
- ↑ King Edward, Book X -a work of fiction.