Offers may be subject to change without notice. The uniting Egyptian cultures had deities that shared similar roles and usually the same imagery. Often similar deities merged into one with the unification, but that did not occur with these deities having such strong roots in their cultures. Instead, these goddesses began to diverge.

Bast had transformed from a lioness warrior deity into a major protector deity represented as a cat. Bastet is also the protector of cats. By the Twenty-second Dynasty the transition had occurred in all regions. What the name of the goddess means, remains uncertain. She of the ointment jar». Greek, come from the name of the goddess.

This association would have come about much later than when the goddess was a protective lioness goddess, however, and is useful only in deciphering the origin of the term, alabaster. Egyptian history, but later she was changed into the cat goddess that is familiar today, becoming Bastet. Even later, Greeks occupying ancient Egypt toward the end of its civilization changed her into a goddess of the moon. Her name became associated with the lavish jars in which Egyptians stored their ointment used as perfume. Bastet came to be regarded as his wife for a short period of time. Bastet was also depicted as the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Bast first appears in the third millennium BC, where she is depicted as either a fierce lioness or a woman with the head of a lioness. With the unification, many similar deities were often merged into one. However, the significance of Bast and Sekhmet to the regional cultures that merged resulted in a retention of both, necessitating a divergence in traits between the two. During this period, Bast’s role as warrior goddess in the Egyptian pantheon became diminished as Sekhmet became more dominant and the deliberate change of her name to Bastet ensued. Cats of royalty were, in some instances, known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat from their owners’ plates. Bastet worship changed from being a lioness deity into being predominantly a major cat deity. Consequently, a woman who wanted children sometimes wore an amulet showing the goddess with kittens, the number of which indicated her own desired number of children.

The Ptolemies adopted many Egyptian beliefs and customs, but always «interpreted» them in relation to their own Greek culture. These associations sought to link the antiquity of Egyptian culture to the newer Greek culture, thereby lending parallel roots and a sense of continuity. Roman occupation of Egypt followed in 30 BC, and their pantheon of deities also was identified with the Greek interpretations of the ancient Egyptians. 400 feet wide, and bordered by trees reaching to heaven. Each of them had to be appeased by a specific set of rituals. One myth relates that a lioness, fiery and wrathful, was once cooled down by the water of the lake, transformed into a gentle cat, and settled in the temple.

The main source of information about the Bastet cult comes from Herodotus who visited Bubastis around 450 BCE after the changes in the religious sect. He wrote extensively about the religious sect. Turner and Bateson suggest that the status of the cat was roughly equivalent to that of the cow in modern India. The death of a cat might leave a family in great mourning and those who could would have them embalmed or buried in cat cemeteries—pointing to the great prevalence of the cult of Bastet. In 1888, a farmer uncovered a plot of many hundreds of thousands of cats in Beni Hasan. Herodotus also relates that of the many solemn festivals held in Egypt, the most important and most popular one was that celebrated in Bubastis in honor of the goddess. The women engaged in music, song, and dance on their way to the place.

Great sacrifices were made and prodigious amounts of wine were drunk—more than was the case throughout the year. This accords well with Egyptian sources which prescribe that lioness goddesses are to be appeased with the «feasts of drunkenness». However, a festival of Bastet was known to be celebrated already in the New Kingdom at Bubastis. Egyptian Antiquities from Kufur Nigm and Bubastis. Serpell, «Domestication and History of the Cat», p. Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 138. Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 59. Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 137. Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 60. Le culte de Boubastis — Bastet en Egypte gréco-romaine». Bubastis and the Temple of Bastet». This page was last edited on 27 December 2017, at 03:56. Unique gifts and stocking stuffers for the young at heart! You look really cute today!