Whether Astarte was also a lunar goddess has been questioned.
This fusion is exemplified by the Carnion temple, which is probably identical with the famous temple of Astarte at Ashtaroth-Karnaim.
And when the pagan legend of the Syrian Astarte tells how she lived for ten years in Tyre as a prostitute, this directly recalls the Gnostic myth of how Simon found Helena in a brothel in Tyre (Epiphanius, Ancoratus, c. 104).
Thus a Phoenician colonist might desire to carry abroad the cult of a certain Baal or Astarte who lived in a conical stone or pillar.
Both Baal and Astarte were venerated in Egypt at Thebes and Memphis in the XIXth Dynasty, and the former, through the influence of the Aramaeans who borrowed the Babylonian spelling Bel, ultimately became known as the Greek Belos who was identified with Zeus.
The origin of this particular form of worship can scarcely be sought in Egypt; the Apis which was worshipped there was a live bull, and image-worship was common among the Canaanites in connexion with the cult of Baal and Astarte (qq.v.).
To nomads, Astarte may well have been a sheep-goddess, but this, if her earliest, was not her only type, as is clear from the sacred fish of Atargatis, the doves of Ascalon (and of the Phoenician sanctuary of Eryx), and the gazelle or antelope of the goddess of love (associated also with the Arabian Athtar).
The sacred cakes of Astarte and old holy wells associated with her cult were later even transferred to the worship of the Virgin (Ency.
Another horrible sacrifice was regularly demanded by Phoenician religion: women sacrificed their virginity at the shrines of Astarte in the belief that they thus propitiated the goddess and won her favour (Frazer, ibid.
The shrines of Chemosh, Moloch, Baal of Tyre and Astarte of Sidon (1 Kings xi.