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.
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.