Imperium of Man (Warhammer 40,000)

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Imperium of Man
Imperial eagle.jpg
Imperial Aquila
(Seal of the Emperor and the Imperium of Man)
Real world
Series Warhammer 40,000
Creator Games Workshop
Genre Science fantasy
Motto The Emperor protects
Form of government

Absolute Monarchy (pre-Heresy)

Theocratic Oligarchy (post-Heresy)
Head of state
Established M30 (30th millennium)
Governing body Council of the High Lords of Terra
Official language High Gothic (Hieratic language)
Low Gothic (Common language)
Capital Holy Terra (Earth)
Territory All space within 50,000 light year radius from Terra
Population (groups) Humans, mutant species of human descent
Population (size) Unknown

The Imperium of Man or Imperium of Mankind is a galactic empire in the fictional universe of Warhammer 40,000. It is a theocratic, industrial, militaristic, and totalitarian regime that rules over almost all of humanity and spans more than a million inhabited worlds.

Real World


The "Imperium" is one of the original factions in the fictional background of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop miniatures wargame; the game was initially published in 1987 by Games Workshop, and continues to be actively developed. The game system's setting is a dystopian far future fictional universe that is extensively described in numerous rulebooks, tie-ins, and other official sources.


Notwithstanding backstory development by Games Workshop and affiliates (such as the publishing imprint Black Library) that spans several decades, the core depiction of the Imperium – as a totalitarian, strife-torn galactic empire on the brink of catastrophe – changed little; a major reason is the publisher's decision to "freeze" the narrative setting to the universe's late–41st millennium (or late–M41[1]). As of 2013, this setting had been utilised by the majority of related material; however, for several years prior and continuing, the publisher has also been promoting a parallel narrative thread for the fictional universe, which is taking place during the founding and early times of the Imperium.

The fictional empire is variously called "Imperium", "Imperium of Man", or "Imperium of Mankind" in official publisher sources.


  1. ^ Troke et al. 2012, p. 406. [Description of the Warhammer 40,000 dating system.]


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