Nautilus: The stubborn fact remains that, no matter how deeply we probe into the nature of bacon, eggs, oatmeal, and avocado toast—to say nothing of shakshuka, grits, bear claws, or dim sum—or the interactions between these fundamental building blocks and, say, orange juice or coffee and the morning paper, we simply have no convincing theory to explain how such disparate, seemingly inert components give rise to the phenomenon we subjectively experience as “breakfast.”
In particular, we know from the work of Scherzinger, et al. that breakfast is not located in the eggs. The chicken is involved but the pig is committed.
Oxford Archaeology’s excavation at Berryfields uncovered a wealth of evidence for Iron Age and Roman occupation at the site. They found a waterlogged pit containing what are thought to be votive deposits. Among those finds were four chicken eggs, one of which was extracted intact, making it the only complete Roman-era egg known in Britain.
Sanchuniathon’s creation arose out of mist and chaos, eventually generating something called mot, from which in time came intelligent life, initially in the form of egg-shaped beings called Zophasemin.
[I]t is uniformly when parties have run highest and the strife has been deadliest that people have been most forward to stake their existence and every thing belonging to them, on some unintelligible dogma or article of an old-fashioned creed. Half the wars and fightings, martyrdoms, persecutions, feuds, antipathies, heartburnings in the world have been about some distinction, ‘some trick not worth an egg’—so ready are mankind to sacrifice their all to a mere name!
William Hazlitt (1778-1830), “The Main-Chance,” Lectures on the English Comic Writers, with Miscellaneous Essays (London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, 1910; rpt. 1913), pp. 235-252 (at 247):
egg (A) Something small and worthless. ‘Not worth an egg(shell)’ is proverbial (Tilley, E95, see Cor 4.4.21: ‘Some trick not worth an egg’). The egg is ‘Shakespeare’s frequent measure of insignificance.’
Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin, Shakespeare’s Insults: A Pragmatic Dictionary (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), p. 171:
December 1940. “Mrs. Richard Carter, poultry farmer of Middleboro, Massachusetts. She runs the business of one thousand poulets while her husband drives a bulldozer at an Army camp nearby.” Acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. Via Shorpy.
The egg dance was a traditional Easter game involving the laying down of eggs on the ground and dancing among them whilst trying to break as few as possible. Another variation (depicted in many of the images featured here) involved tipping an egg from a bowl, and then trying to flip the bowl over on top of it, all with only using one’s feet and staying within a chalk circle drawn on the ground.
Around the year 492, a monastery was founded in the Bay of Naples on the island of Megaride. This tiny speck of land was the site where Greek colonists from Cumae first settled. In the first century BC a magnificent Roman villa was built there by Lucius Licinius Lucullus (118-57/56 BC), a Roman consul and successful general. His name long remained attached to the complex: after it was fortified in the fifth century AD, it was known as the Castellum Lucullanum. One of its most famous residents was Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Western Roman empire before it collapsed. He was exiled there after his deposition in 476.
Today the fortification is called Castel dell’Ovo or “Egg Castle”. This unusual appellation refers to a legend that the Roman poet Virgil put a magical egg in the foundations of the castle. If it had broken, the structure would have collapsed, which would have spelled disaster for the city of Naples. If you are wondering why a poet would have magical eggs in his possession, that all has to do with Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue. Written around 42 BC, the poem speaks of the birth of a savior who will rule the world.
Only favour the child who’s born, pure Lucina, under whom the first race of iron shall end, and a golden race rise up throughout the world: now your Apollo reigns.
My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.
Deuteronomy 22:6-7 ESV
If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.
Isaiah 59:5 ESV
They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
Luke 11:12 ESV
Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
Job 39:14 ESV
For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground,
Job 6:6 ESV
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?
Egghead and Olga, Queen of the Cossacks, steal the golden Egg of Ogg, and the Silver Scimitar of Toras Bulbul to boot. The caper goes awry and Egghead begs for Batgirl’s mercy, only to lead her into a trap. Olga trips Batgirl up with caviar and sabers and then tosses her into a giant ice kettle just as Batman and Robin arrive.