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In the 11th century, Cardinal Peter Damian gave an account of a monkey that was the lover of a countess from Liguria.The jealous simian killed her husband and fathered her child.

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Precisely because of that it also required the most thorough and systematic kind of dehumanisation in the theorisation of that reality.

In the history of European cultures, the comparison of humans to apes and monkeys was disparaging from its very beginning.

When Plato - by quoting Heraclitus - declared apes ugly in relation to humans and men apish in relation to gods, this was cold comfort for the apes.

In the Middle Ages, Christian discourse recognised simians as devilish figures and representatives of lustful and sinful behaviour.

As women were subject to an analogous defamation, things proceeded as one would expect.

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