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): Apes are cunning animals. It is said that they put on as shoes the nooses set out to snare them, imitating the hunters. According to Mucianus the tailed species of apes can detect at a glance false nuts made of wax, can play at draughts, and are depressed at the waning of the moon but are delighted with the new moon. Apes are affectionate toward their young; they sometimes accidentally kill their babies by hugging them. The ape called cynocephalis is fierce, but the one called satyris is gentle. Apes cannot live anywhere but in Ethiopia, their native country.

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):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. [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. [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): 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, 2:31] 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.