Bubastis, Or Bnbastus, a city of ancient Egypt, capital of the nome Bubastitis in the delta of the Nile, situated on the E. side of the Pelusiac branch, S. W. of Tanis. It is mentioned in the Old Testament as Phi-Beseth, and its site is now called Tel-Bustak. It was built in honor of the goddess Pasht, called by the Greeks Bubastis. This goddess was sometimes represented with the head of a cat, and many mummied cats have been found in the tombs of Bubastis. On other monuments she is depicted with the head of a lioness. The Greeks identified her with Artemis (Diana), but it appears that she was the goddess of fire, " the well-beloved of Phtah," to whom were ascribed the creation of the Asiatic race and the avenging of crimes. Her great temple in the city was considered by Herodotus the pleasant-est to behold in all Egypt. On the N. side of the city commenced the canal between the Nile and the Red sea, constructed by Pharaoh Necho. Bubastis was taken by the Persians in 352 B. C, and its walls were dismantled. Among its ruins have been found remains of costly and magnificent temples.
Here were celebrated solemn feasts to the goddess Pasht, attended by people from all parts of Egypt, even to the number of 700,-000 at one time, as is stated by Herodotus, who gives (ii. 59, 60) a detailed account of the city.