Ancient Egyptian Mythology

The Gods of Ancient Egypt...

BASTET

Egyptian Cat Goddess

Picture of the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bastet from our Egyptian mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Egyptian Cat Goddess with a grammatical stutter

Bastet is merely the bastardized name of Bast. Quite a number of Egyptian deities have ghostly encyclopedic duplicates, so we thought we’d highlight one by way of explanation.

It’s all to do with hieroglyphic confusion and alphabetic pollution. As the Egyptian language changed, due in part to foreign influence, some letter-sounds were in danger of losing their pronunciation. In simple terms, this meant that people started to pronounce a name such as Bast with a silent T.

To preserve the original pronunciation, scribes fought a rear-guard action by nailing extra letters to the ends of words. BAST suddenly became BASTT. Luckily people took the hint, otherwise by now we could have ended up with BASTTTTTTTTTT.

The Gods tend to be very fussy about their names. Just remember, there is only one Bast aka Bastet. The extra ‘ET’ at the end is — or should be — silent.

Bastet Facts and Figures

Name: Bastet
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Cats
Area of expertise: Cats

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 2574

Cite this article

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Article last revised on August 21, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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