The tragic story of Niobe was a favourite subject in literature and art.
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.
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.
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.
Heydemann, Niobe and Niobiden auf griechischen Vasenbildern (1875).
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 appearance of the rock on Sipylus gave rise to the story of Niobe having been turned to stone.
Ohlrich, Die Florentiner Niobegruppe (1881 and 1888); for the Niobe on Mount Sipylus, see C. B.
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.
Burmeister, De fabula quae de Niobe ejusque liberis agit (Wismar, 1836); L.