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Het Leven der Dieren: Deel 1, Hoofdstuk 01: De Apen
Het menschachtig voorkomen van de Apen heeft te allen tijde in hooge mate de aandacht getrokken, en aanleiding gegeven tot meeningen over een andere en nauwere betrekking tusschen hen en de menschen, dan er tusschen deze en de overige dieren bestaat. De aard dezer betrekking werd vroeger geheel anders opgevat dan thans. Nog geen zeventig jaar geleden verdedigde een bekend dierkundige, de Mnchener professor Wagler, de stelling, dat de Apen ontaarde menschen zijn. Dit denkbeeld was niet nieuw. Bij nagenoeg alle volken, die met de Apen in aanraking kwamen, of nog met hen verkeeren, komt het voor. Zoo zijn, volgens een bij vele West-Afrikaansche negerstammen verbreide overlevering (p. 12), de daar voorkomende, groote, staartelooze Apende Chimpanzeesvroeger leden van deze stammen geweest. Wegens hunne slechte gewoonten werden zij uit de menschelijke samenleving verstooten; door voortdurend toegeven aan gemeene neigingen zijn zij op hun tegenwoordig peil van verbastering gezonken.Wel verre van de Apen voor ontaarde menschen te houden, beschouwen de dierkundigen van onzen tijd de menschen als hooger ontwikkelde nakomelingen van stamvormen, waaruit ook de Apen voortgesproten zijn.Naar het schijnt, waren de Egyptenaars en de Indirs de eenige volken der oudheid, die voor de Apen een zekeren eerbied koesterden. Dat de oude bewoners van het Nijldal ze onder de heilige dieren rekenden, kan men afleiden uit de beeldhouwwerken, waarop goden in de gedaante van Apen of althans met aapachtige lichaamsdeelen zijn voorgesteld. De Indirs hebben reeds in overouden tijd tempels en huizen voor Apen gebouwd; ook thans nog komt deze vorm van dierenvereering bij de Hindoes voor. Andere volken der oudheid stelden belang in de Apen, zonder ze evenwel hooger te achten dan andere dieren. Zoo wordt van Salomo bericht, dat hij Apen uit Ophir liet komen. Van de Romeinen weet men, dat zij zich met de potsen dezer dieren vermaakten, of ze met gevangene wilde dieren lieten vechten, maar ook, dat zij hun minder genegenheid betoonden, dan aan andere huisdieren. Nog lager staan de Apen in de schatting der Arabieren, die ze met Allahs vloek beladen achten, en hen houden voor een wonderlijke vermenging van het beeld des duivels met dat van den mensch. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 16701
Author: Brehm, Alfred Edmund
Release Date: Sep 15, 2005
Publication Date: 1900
Publisher Country: Netherlands
Editor: Huizinga, S. P
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