Niobe, a tragic mother11-05-2013 17:29Niobe’s story is one of the most exemplary ones of mortals that performed hubris against goddess Leto. Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos from the kingdom of Lydia (or Phryghia) in Asia Minor and wife of Amphion of Thebes to whom bore numerous children.
Niobe was very proud of her large family, mother of seven sons and seven daughters, and upon an occasion, boasted that she had many more children than the goddess Leto, who had two alone, Artemis and Apollo. Leto was so offended that she called on her children to exact vengeance by killing all of Niobe’s children, called the Niobids. Apollo slew all the sons and Artemis all the daughters without sparing the life even to the youngest one that Niobe clasped in her arms praying for mercy.
Niobe was so devasted by her loss that she left her husband and returned to her original homeland in Lydia. However, the gods pitied her for her unbearable grief by turning her into stone and transferred her to Mount Siphylus where she still continues to cry for her children.
Amphion was also said to have met his death as a consequence of the massacre, either because he stabbed himself in his sorrow, or because he was shot by Apollo while he was in rage against Apollo’s temple, angry for the fate of his children.
According to the version of Pausanias, two of the children of Niobe, her son Amyklas and her daughter Meliboia, is said to have survived the massacre, because they prayed to Leto for mercy.
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