Literally translated as "Home of the Elves", the Aldmeri Dominion was an empire founded by Queen Ayrenn in 2E 582. This empire, commonly known as the first empire, was conceived after Ayrenn assumed the throne of Alinor. Having traveled Tamriel extensively before returning to the Summerset Isle, she was aware of the dire threats menacing the world and saw it as the proper duty of the Elves to put things right. At the same time, the Bosmer and Khajiit were facing troubles of their own and in need of allies, so they came together to form the Dominion.
The second empire was formed in 2E 830, and made up the realms of Summerset Isle and Valenwood. It was formed when the heirs of the Camoran Dynasty began to fight over the Valenwood throne. A faction of Bosmer attempted to make peace with their enemies in the Colovian Estates by offering part of the Valenwood territory in exchange for the faction's claimant. The Altmer, upon hearing of this, invaded Valenwood, citing a stewardship clause in a thousand year old treaty. The Altmer established the Thalmor as the government in Valenwood on behalf of their claimant Camoran Anxemes (whose ascendants made the original treaty a thousand years before). As the Empire was still recovering from the Interregnum, the Colovian armies were easily forced back by the Elves and the Aldmeri Dominion was born. The Thalmor strengthened its hold on Valenwood province during the foundations of the Third Empire and Bosmer tribes continued to skirmish with the Colovian Estates under the rule of the High Elves. With the Empire reunited under Tiber Septim the attacks subsided although each side remained encamped on the border waiting for a decisive battle. At sea, the Elven forces were considerably more powerful and the Dominion was able to hold the southern waters from the Cape of the Blue Divide to the Topal Bay. The Elves made allies with some Reachmen, the Maormer of Pyandonea, and the Elsweyr Confederacy. Although there was no formal declaration of war, Tamriel was divided between the Empire and the Dominion in an unfolding clash of civilizations. The catastrophic use of the Numidium ended the long confrontation, resulting in the surrender of the Summerset Isles and the human conquest of Tamriel. The Dominion would represent the last time the elves of Tamriel ruled sovereign kingdoms on the continent, the final legacy of the Direnni and Aldmer holdings.
Later, in 4E 29, the Aldmeri Dominion was re-established across the Imperial provinces of Valenwood and the Summerset Isles, which were renamed Alinor. Once the Void Nights (4E 98-100) ended, the Thalmor (who govern the Aldmeri Dominion) claimed to have caused the return of Masser and Secunda. The Thalmor also developed a friendly relationship with the former Imperial province of Elsweyr in the form of two client states, Anequina and Pelletine. Later, in 4E 171, the Thalmor invaded Hammerfell and Cyrodiil after Titus Mede II rejected their Ultimatum. Aldmeri forces would push deep into both provinces, taking many cities, including the Imperial City. The Thalmor then faced their greatest defeat (later known as the Battle of the Red Ring), in which they lost all of their forces in Cyrodiil. Despite this, due mainly to the exhaustion of the Imperial Legions, the Great War ended with the White-Gold Concordat, which resulted in Talos worship being outlawed in the Empire and a significant portion of southern Hammerfell becoming part of the Dominion. However, Hammerfell rejected the treaty and left the Empire, continuing to fight the Thalmor until 4E 180, when the Second Treaty of Stros M'Kai was signed by both sides, resulting in the Aldmeri forces pulling out of Hammerfell and a territorial status quo.
- ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Aldmeri Dominion — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- ^ A Concise Account of the Great War Between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion — Legate Justianus Quintius