The aim of this paper is to examine the origins of hand clapping mainly in Western ancient history. Firstly, whether human hand clapping is instinctive or acquired a posteriori is argued with several examples by infant and primate. Secondly, the relationship between hand clapping and music observed in the archaeological remains of the ancient Near East is surveyed. Thirdly, applause in the documents written in the ancient Greece is examined. In addition to the judgment of the right or wrong for applause by Plato's aesthetics and Epictetus philosophy, the Spartan election with acclamation is surveyed. Fourthly, based on these results, variety and organization of applause in the documents written in the ancient Roman age are discussed. Especially, custom of the applause in the audience with dictator or emperor, applauders in theater or courtroom, Cicero's view on the relationship between eloquence and applause, and the professional applauders with three cheerleading sections organized by Nero are chiefly examined. Finally, the examples of hand clapping described in the Old Testament are surveyed.