The ancient world’s most notorious model-railroading enthusiast: Time-Travel Retrosketch by our staff artist.

Augustus was all-Rome marbles champion sixteen years in a row. He accumulated so many marbles from defeated opponents that Roman wits said he had found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marbles.

Nero built his Golden House on the ruins of the burned districts of Rome largely to accommodate his model-railroad layout.

The philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius was also an amateur magician of some skill. His most famous trick involved setting a Christian and a lion in the same arena and making the Christian disappear.

Diocletian, the last and most ferocious persecutor of the Christians, secretly collected Precious Moments nativity sets.

Constantine built a replica of Rome on the Bosphorus at 1:1 scale.

Honorius, a well-known poultry fancier, replaced his only successful general with a chicken.

By a strange historical irony, Romulus Augustulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the West, was also an avid marbles player, but lost every game.