426. History's Greatest Monkeys

Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals. A military grave from the 5th century BC was found to contain something extraordinary; a macaque monkey dressed as a roman legionary. Did he fight alongside his human fellows, or merely serve as their mascot? Whatever the case, it demonstrates the role of monkeys and chimps throughout human history. From antiquity, when to possess a monkey signified status, to the the east where they symbolised corruption and vice, to the fighting pits of regency London where the ape Jacco Macacco had fortunes lost and won on his violent exploits. So too the monkey accused of treason during the Napoleonic Wars, the noble Corporal Jackie, a South African baboon who nursed injured human soldiers during WWII, and Jenny; the orangutan who in her commonality with man influenced Darwin's theory of evolution. Less earnest but just as dazzling was the role of monkeys and chips in art and culture. From starring roles on television amidst the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, to the diva-like personalities of Elvis’ erratic Scatter and Michael Jackson’s infamous Bubbles. Join Dominic and Tom as they reveal history’s greatest apes, orangutans and monkeys, and the extraordinary lives they lead. From Roman legionaries, war veterans and train conductors, to superstars, football mascots and artists, these remarkable creatures have featured in every corner of human life, imitating us, befriending us and even influencing us. *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024* Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London!  Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com Twitter: @TheRestHistory @holland_tom @dcsandbrook Producer: Theo Young-Smith Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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