BUBASTIS, the Graecized name of the Egyptian goddess Ubasti, meaning "she of.
[the city] Bast" (B;s-t), a city better known by its later name, P-ubasti, "place of Ubasti"; thus the goddess derived her name Ubasti from her city (Bast), and in turn the city derived its name P-ubasti from that of the goddess; the Greeks, confusing the name of the city with that of the goddess, called the latter Bubastis, and the former also Bubastis (later Bubastos).
Bubastis, capital of the 19th nome of Lower Egypt, is now represented by a great mound of ruins called Tell Basta, near Zagazig, including the site of a large temple (described by Herodotus) strewn with blocks of granite.
In the great development of reverence for sacred animals which took place after the New Kingdom, the domestic cat was especially the animal of Bubastis, although it had also to serve for all the other feline goddesses, owing no doubt to the scarcity and intractability of its congeners.
Herodotus describes the festival of Bubastis, which was attended by thousands from all parts of Egypt and was a very riotous affair; it has its modern equivalent in the Moslem festival of the sheikh Said el Badawi at Tanta.
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