Herodotus in Greece

The Greek historian Herodotus visited Greece in the fifth century B.C. and, happily for posterity, wrote about what he saw there. He described the worship of the cat-headed goddess Bast, whom he (and other Greeks) identified with the Greek goddess Artemis. Herodotus witnessed a Bast festival at the city of Per-Bastet, attended by some 700,000 men and women. As Herodotus describes it, the “worship” turned into a veritable orgy, with lots of wine being consumed, frequent “lifting of the skirts” and a general “girls gone wild” atmosphere—which makes sense, since cats were associated with fertility and reproduction. According to Herodotus, the Bast festival drew more people together than any other festival in Egypt.
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