Sources : Ape
Aesop's Fables [6th century BCE] (Temple 307): Apes give birth two two children. One the mother loves and cares for, the other she despises and neglects. However, the one the mother loves she holds in so tight an embrace that it suffocates, while the neglected child survives.
Aristotle [ca. 350 BCE] (De animalibus Book 2, chapter 5.1): The monkey is an ape with a tail; cynocephali have the same form as apes, but are larger and stronger, and their faces are more like dogs' faces; they are naturally fierce, and their teeth are more like dogs' teeth, and stronger than in other genera. - [Cresswell translation, 1887]
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 80): The kinds of apes also which are closest to varieties of the human shape are distinguished from each other by the tails. They are marvelously cunning: people say that they use bird-lime as ointment, and that they put on the nooses set to snare them as if they were shoes, in imitation of the hunters; according to Mucianus the tailed species have even been known to play at draughts, are able to distinguish at a glance sham nuts made of wax, and are depressed by the moon waning and worship the new moon with delight: and it is a fact that the other four-footed animals also are frightened by eclipses. The genus ape has a remarkable affection for its young. Tame monkeys kept in the house who bear young ones carry them about and show them to everybody, and delighted in having them stroked, looking as if they understood that they are being congratulated; and as a consequence in a considerable number of cases they kill their babies by hugging them. The baboon is of a fiercer nature, just as the satyrus is extremely gentle. The pretty haired ape is almost entirely different in appearance: it has a bearded face and a tail flattened out wide at the base. This animal is said to be unable to live in any other climate but that of its native country, Ethiopia. - [Rackham translation]
Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 5, chapter 26): The monkey is a most imitative creature, and any bodily action that you teach it, it acquires exactly, so as to be able to display its accomplishment. For instance, it will dance, once it has learnt, and if you teach it, will play the pipe. And I myself have even seen it holding the reins, laying on the whip, and driving a chariot. And once it has learnt whatever it may be, it would never disappoint its teacher. - [Scholfield translation]
Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 27.55-57): [Chapter 27.55] All the country spread out between Aegypt, Aethiopia and Libya -- as far as it is wooded -- is filled with various types of apes. I hope that anyone offended by the name does not take the following knowledge amiss. [Chapter 27.56] For indeed, the value of toil lies in omitting nothing in which the providence of nature is to be seen. Among these apes is a common sort which is seen everywhere. They have the talent of mimicry, by which they come more easily to the hand. They eagerly imitate the gestures of hunters, who purposely leave behind an ointment-box of bird-lime. Because the apes saw the hunters feign the deed, they smear their eyes with it, and thus, with their vision obscured, it is easy to seize them. [Chapter 27.57] They exult at the new moon, and are sad when a planet is horned and hollow. They love their young immoderately; indeed, they may more easily lose the cubs they hold dearer and carry in front of themselves, since the neglected ones always stick behind the mothers. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 2:30-33): [Book 12, 2:30] Ape (simia) is a Greek word, that is, with flattened nostrils, whence we name apes, because they have flattened nostrils and an ugly face, with disgustingly baggy wrinkles, although having a flattened nose is also characteristic of goats. Other people think that apes are named from a Latin word, because they are felt to have a great similarity (similitudo) to human behavior, but this etymology is false. [Book 12, 2:30] Apes, in their knowledge of the elements, rejoice at the new moon, and are downcast at the half moon and the crescent moon. They carry the offspring whom they love before them; the ones that are neglected cling to their mother. There are five kinds of apes. Of these the cercopitheci have tails, for it is the ape with a tail, which some people call the clura. [Book 12, 2:32] The sphinga ([sphinx] is shaggy with hair, and has protruding breasts; they are tame to the point of forgetting their wildness. Cynocephali are themselves also similar to apes, but with a face like that of a dog, hence their name. [Book12, 2:33]. Satyrs (satyrus) have a somewhat pleasing appearance and are restless, with gesticulating movements. Callitriches are almost entirely different from the others in appearance, for they have a long beard on their face, and a broad tail. - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]
Richard de Fournival (Bestiaire d'Amour 19, 3): The hunter knows that the ape likes to imitate what people do, so he makes a show of putting on and taking off his boots when he knows the ape is watching. He then hides, leaving a boot behind. The ape puts on the boot, and the hunter catches the ape before it can take off the boot and escape.
Aberdeen Bestiary [circa 1200 CE] (folio 12v-13r): Apes are called simie in Latin because the similarity between their mentality and that of humans is felt to be great. Apes are keenly aware of the elements; they rejoice when the moon is new and are sad when it wanes. A characteristic of the ape is that when a mother bears twins, she loves one and despises the other. If it ever happens that she is pursued by hunters, she carries the one she loves before her in her arms and the one she detests on her shoulders. But when she is tired of going upright, she deliberately drops the one she loves and reluctantly carries the one she hates. The ape does not have a tail. The Devil has the form of an ape, with a head but no tail. Although every part of the ape is foul, its rear parts are disgusting and horrid enough. The Devil began as an angel in heaven. But inside he was a hypocrite and a deceiver, and he lost his tail, because he will perish totally at the end ... The apes called circopetici have tails. This alone distinguishes them from the apes mentioned earlier. Cenophali are numbered among the apes. They occur in great numbers in parts of Ethiopia. They leap wildly and bite fiercely. They are never so tame, that their ferocity does not increase. Sphynxes are also included among apes. They have shaggy hair on their arms and are easily taught to forget their wild nature.
Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Quadrupeds 4.96): An ape, as Isidore says, is a beast with a dense hair. its limbs are formed almost like those of a man. They are clever, and during the new moon rejoice, but during the waning they are sad. The child who it loves it carries in front of it on its chest and between its arms, but those it neglects it carries around its neck and on its back. But it happens, as the Experimentator says, that when it flees from pursuing hunters, carrying its beloved son in its arms, it drops the one it holds and carries the other unwillingly on its neck, whom he hates; for it holds itself firmly on the neck of the fleeing mother. And so it happens that when the mother has lost her beloved child, she begins to love the son whom she neglected. For she gives birth to two children; she loves one, but hates the other. And Solinus: They are apt to be oblivious to all game and ferocity. Being strong in spirit, they imitate whatever they see, and therefore they fall more easily into the hands of hunters. Liber rerum: For where the hunters see apes dwelling (for they dwell in trees or rocks, as Pliny says), they take men's shoes and go to sit in places where they can be seen by the apes from above in the trees, then they put on their shoes and bind them carefully. Finally, the hunters leave their shoes under the tree and go far away. But when they see that the hunters are gone, the apes, imitating what they have seen done, put on the shoes and tie them carefully. Soon the hunters, running up, catch them with treacherous chains and entangle them, and lead them away captive. But the hunters do another thing to catch apes, as Pliny says. They take a sticky branch and go to sit in a place where they can be seen by apes. Then they cover their eyes and lie under a tree and go far away. And the apes going down there cover their eyes with sticky slime. But the hunters run up and catch the blinded apes in this way. Solinus: Apes are restless in their gestures. But more than other animals they thrive on taste. They lack a tail, but they are fierce in their bite; but they are never so meek as not to be furious. As the Experimentator says, the ape likes to play with its children and sometimes strangles them with is hugs. It eats apples and nuts with pleasure; but when it finds in them a bitter skin, he throws away the skin with the nut, refusing the sweet because of the bitterness. And it must be noted very much about the ape, because he the ape keeps a grudge against one who injures it for a long time. There are also apes that have tails, which they call cicholic. There are also others that have a very handsome face, beards, broad tails, and are almost unlike other apes in appearance. Although this species can be caught, it lives only in Ethiopia. Pliny: The apes have a special affection for their offspring. The children they give birth to in people's houses are shown to everyone and they enjoy having people handle them. Aristotle: The face of an ape is like the face of a man in many respects, namely, the nose, ears, and teeth: it has front teeth like a man, and molars in the same way. And the eyelashes on its eyelids are short and very fine. And on its chest are small breasts, and it has arms like a man and hands for every action. Therefore, although he has such a disposition with man outwardly, yet inwardly he has no disposition in common with man, and this less than any animal. In India there are apes, as Pliny says, which are white throughout their bodies. The Indians hunt these with skillful diligence, and capture and domesticate them, capable of all game. As Isidore says, the caprices are almost entirely distant from the rest. For these have on the face a beard and a broad tail. Almost all beasts have teats in their hindquarters against their kidneys, so that they can reach their young when they want, and have them ready when they want. But man and apes have nipples in their breasts, because nature has given them hands capable of lifting the child from the ground to the breast above, and of fitting the child with the hands to the breast. It lacks a navel. Its feet and the bends of its legs are like those of a man. They have a heel on their feet, and for this reason they are raised like a man, they stand and run when they want, but they can do this only to a small extent, and this through the artifice and compulsion of man, because nature has created them to be prostrate. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]
Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book18.95): The Ape is called Simea in Gréeke, & hath that name of a flat nose. And so we call Apes Simie, for they bée flat in the nose, and foule and riveled in the face. Or we call them Simeas, and give them that name for lykenesse of reason. For that he in many things counterfeiteth the déeds of men, but this is false, as Isi[dore] saith, li. 12. And there he sayth, that Apes have knowledge of elements, & be sory in the full of the Moone, & be merie and glad in the new of the Moone. And when ye Ape hath two whelps, she beareth yt that she loveth best in hir armes, and that other on her shoulder, & when she is beset, then she must néeds flie, and may not beare both the whelps: then she is compelled to throw away yt that she bare in her armes, and is charged with that other that sitteth on her shoulder, & is the more slow to run and to flye, and is therfore ye sooner taken with ye hunter. Of Apes be 5. manner kinds, as he saith, of whom some have tailes: and ther is an Ape with a taile, & that Ape is called Cluna among some men: and some be called Cenophe, and be like to an hound in the face, & in the body like to an Ape. Also some be called Spinge, and be rough & hairie, with strouting paps and teats, and forgetteth soone wildnesse: and some be Satiri, pleasing in face, and merrye movings and playengs, and resteth but little. And some bée called Calatrices, & be unlike to ye other, nigh in all manner points, for in the face is a long beard, & have a broad taile, as Isidore saith. And Plin[ius] saith the same, li. 8. cap. 54. There he saith, yt kinde of Apes is next to mans shape, & be diverse, and distinguished by tailes, & labour wanderfully & busily to do all thing that they see: and so oft they shoe themselves with shooes that hunters leave in certeine places slily, & be so taken the sooner: for while they would fasten the thong of the shooe, & wold put ye shooe on their féete, as they sée ye hunters doe, they bée oft taken with hunters ere they may unloose the shooes, & be delivered of them. Also Plinius saith ther, that the kind of Apes love wel their whelps, for tame Apes that be in an house, sheweth her whelpes that she whelpeth, to all men that he therein, & have liking to be stroked, and knoweth them that comforteth and pleaseth him, and maketh them good chéere, Huc usque Plinius. But eod. li. cap. 22. he saith, that in Indie bée Apes white in all ye body and those Apes be hunted & taken with Beares of Inde. Aud li. 2. Avicen[na] saith, that the Ape accordeth in shape with a man, & in haire with a wolfes & some apes have evil maners & tatches, & their teeth be as it were hounds teeth, & have malitious biting, and namely those that have tailes, and some be rough and all hairie before, except the face, & such have teeth as a man, & have other things as a man, and reddish eyen & sharpe, and paps and teats, in the breast, and handes, feete, and fingers, and toes, and may goe and steppe on two feete, for they have soles in theyr féet as a man hath, & so hath few beasts except a man, and namelye foure footed beasts, as Aristotle saith. And ye female Ape is like to a woman in the privye chose, and the males yarde is like to an hounds yarde, & his entrailes be like to a mans entrailes. Huc usque Avicenne. And Aristotle saith, yt some foure footed beasts commeth to mans kinde, as the Ape. There he rehearseth all ye foresaid likenesse. The Ape is a beast wonderfully shapen, but he hath some likenes of mankind, and is learned and taught, and so he is taught to leape and play in divers manner wise, and is an untamed beast, and malitious by kinde, and is tamed and chastised by violence wt beating, and with cheines, and is refrained with a clogge, so that he may not runne about freely at his owne will, to abate his fiercenesse and outrage. And the Ape safeth all manner of meats & uncleane things, and therefore he séeketh and looketh wormes in mens heads, and throweth them into his mouth, and eateth them. The Lion loveth Apes flesh, for by eating therof he recovereth, as it is said when he is sore sicke, as Isido[ore] and Plinius meaneth. Looke before de Leone in littera L. - [Batman]