NIOBE, in Greek mythology, daughter of Tantalus and Dione, wife of Amphion, king of Thebes.
Out of pity for her grief, the gods changed Niobe herself into a rock on Mount Sipylus in Phrygia, in which form she continued to weep (Homer, Iliad, xxiv.
This "Niobe," described by Pausanias (i.
It is to be distinguished from an archaic figure still visible, carved in the northern side of the mountain near Magnesia, to which tradition has given the name of Niobe, but which is really intended for Cybele.
According to some, Niobe is the goddess of snow and winter, whose children, slain by Apollo and Artemis, symbolize the ice and snow melted by the sun in spring; according to others, she is an earth-goddess, whose progeny - vegetation and the fruits of the soil - is dried up and slain every summer by the shafts of the sun-god.
The appearance of the rock on Sipylus gave rise to the story of Niobe having been turned to stone.
The tragedians used her story to point the moral of the instability of human happiness; Niobe became the representative of human nature, liable to pride in prosperity and forgetfulness of the respect and submission due to the gods.
The tragic story of Niobe was a favourite subject in literature and art.
In art, the most famous representation was a marble group of Niobe and her children, taken by Sosius to Rome and set up in the temple of Apollo Sosianus (Pliny, Nat.
Stark, Niobe and die Niobiden (1863), the standard work; E.
Ohlrich, Die Florentiner Niobegruppe (1881 and 1888); for the Niobe on Mount Sipylus, see C. B.
Heydemann, Niobe and Niobiden auf griechischen Vasenbildern (1875).
29 (from an Orvieto vase) represents the slaying of the children of Niobe by Apollo and Artemis; fig.
VI.), Niobe shielding her youngest daughter.
- " Niobe " (Suratlu Tash) and Karabel (two); rock-cut figures with much defaced hieroglyphs in relief.
Remains of buildings, not yet explored, lie near the " Niobe " figure.
The latter was an ally of Katashmanturgu of Babylon, 2 The "Niobe " statue near Manisa was not definitely known for " Hittite " till 3882, when G.
The only fairly complete anthropoid statue known is the much-defaced " Niobe " at Suratlu Tash, engaged in the rock behind.
The Nymphi (Kara Bel) and Niobe sculptures near Smyrna are probably memorials of that extension, Certainly some inland Anatolian power seems to have kept Aegean settlers and culture away from the Ionian coast during the Bronze Age, and that power was in all likelihood the Hatti kingdom of Cappadocia.
The most famous relic of antiquity is the "Niobe of Sipylus" (Suratlu Task) on the lowest slopes of the mountain about 4 m.
Amphion married Niobe, and killed himself after the loss of his wife and children (Ovid, Metam.
Among the best preserved is Leto and Niobe, which has been the subject of so many studies and so many publications (ibid.
An uppermost series lies above the Olenus fauna in some areas; it is represented by the Tremadoc beds in Britain or by the Dictyonema beds or Euloma-Niobe fauna elsewhere.
Limestones and shales with the Euloma-Niobe fauna come at the top. The upper series (Olenus) has been minutely zoned by W.
In the Thiiringer Wald are certain strata, presumably Cambrian since the uppermost beds contain the Euloma-Niobe fauna.
Next to Sardis the chief city was Magnesia ad Sipylum (q.v.), in the neighbourhood of which is the famous seated figure of "Niobe" (Il.
Dennis discovered an inscription in Hittite hieroglyphics attached to the figure of "Niobe" on Sipylus, and a similar inscription accompanies the figure (in which Herodotus, ii.
Compare the cases of Niobe and the victims of the Gorgon's head. ?
From the reference to Asia in the tales of Tantalus, Niobe and Pelops it has been conjectured that Asia was the original seat of these legends, and that it was only after emigration to Greece that the people localized a part of the tale of Pelops in their new home.
With him she takes part in the combat with Python and with Tityus, in the slaughter of the children of Niobe, while alone she executes vengeance on Orion.
Bas-reliefs and painted vases reproduce the contests of Apollo with Tityus, Marsyas, and Heracles, the slaughter of the daughters of Niobe, and other incidents in his life.
Such figures as Bellerophon, Niobe, the Amazons, which are thought of as traditions from an earlier generation, show the marvellous element at work.
I also saw poor Niobe with her youngest child clinging close to her while she implored the cruel goddess not to kill her last darling.