Leaf from a Breviary - Hidden within a jungle of flowering vines, an ape attempts to unlock the secret to a three-dimensional puzzle. Medieval artists were fond of depicting animals, in particular apes and monkeys, engaged in human activities. In medieval Europe, the term "aping" was used to describe the mimicking of human nature, so showing apes acting like people was a play on this idea. (The Walters)
Psalter-Hours, Initial “D” with nimbed apostle and pseudo-inscribed scroll; dragon with man's head and apes jousting in margin, Walters Manuscript W.82, fol. 194v detail | by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts
Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy: The song Ring-around-a-Rosy is still popular today, often danced in a circle just as we see the monkeys doing here. Yet this seemingly lighthearted song has a dark past. The plague swept Europe during the 14th century, and the songs words actually refer to its terrible symptoms: a circular rose-colored rash, sneezing or coughing, and finally, death. ... The Walters.
Illuminated Manuscript, Map of the city of Damietta (Shahr-i Dumyād) on the Egyptian coast from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.308b by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts,