Bastet, or Bast, is a protecting and nurturing
Egyptian feline deity. She was one of many daughters of Re, the solar god.
In the earliest representations of Bastet, she appeared as a lioness or as a girl withthe head of a lioness. Bastet served as a counterpoint to the violent Sekhmet, who additionally had the pinnacle of a lioness and was a goddess of struggle.Sekhmet was the punishing eye of Re, whereas Bastet was the light one.
Bastet originated no later than the seconddynasty (c. 2800 B.C.E.). The cult of Bastet in all probability centered in the delta metropolis of Bubastis. Sometime between 931 and 715 B.C.E., the home cat changed the lioness because the manifestation of the goddess. Cats had been speciﬁcally bred in the temples to honor Bastet from about this time by the Roman interval (30 B.C.E.–337 C.E.).
The rise in Egypt of animal cults stemmed from political circumstances. The state professionalﬁted from the cults by promoting ofﬁcial appointments and gathering taxes and pious donations. When Egypt was beneath Greco-Roman rule, these cults grew to become the main target of Egyptian nationalism and reached fanatical heights. The Sicilian author Diodorus Siculus (ﬁrst century B.C.E.) recounted an occasion in which a mob murdered a Roman customer who had inadvertently killed a cat. Animal cults existed among the many Romans in Egypt, in addition to in native Egyptian society.
Festivals in Bastet’s honor had been standard all through Egypt. The Greek writer Herodotus claimed to have been one in all greater than 700,000 individuals at a celebration in Bubastis. Enormous portions of feline statuettes and mummies have been found by researchers.
Bastet is often represented as a catheaded lady, with a kitten or kittens at her ft and generally a basket, maybe in which to carry them. She holds in one hand a systrum, a type of musical instrument related to Hathor, goddess of affection, and in the opposite an aegis, a logo of Sekhmet.
Bastet is among the goddesses named because the mom of the canine god Anubis. The Greeks identiﬁed her with Artemis, the Greek goddess of fertility.