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Definition of NIOBE
: a daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion who while weeping for her slain children is turned into a stone from which her tears continue to flow
Origin of NIOBE
Latin, from Greek Niobē
First Known Use: 14th century
In Greek mythology, the prototype of the bereaved mother. The daughter of Tantalus, she married King Amphion of Thebes and bore him six sons and six daughters. She made the mistake of boasting of her fertility to the Titaness Leto, who had only two children, Apollo and Artemis. As punishment for her pride, Apollo killed all of Niobe's sons and Artemis all her daughters. Niobe was so overwhelmed with grief that the gods turned her into a rock on Mount Sipylus (near modern Izmir, Turkey), which weeps endlessly as the snow above it melts.