Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was assigned Niobe from Ovid & never got around to posting it - so here is my retelling of her tragic story.

Niobe was a high born queen with seven sons and seven daughters. She decided that because she was so beautiful and had such a great and powerful family and so many children, that she should be admired as a Goddess instead of Leto, who only had two children herself.

Upon hearing Niobe's bragging Leto sends her two children Apollo and Diana down to kill each of Niobe's children - our translation gives graphic detail about the deaths of the children. The last son begs for his life, but Apollo's poison arrow has already left the bow and Niobe pleads for the life of her last child, a young daughter, but she is already dead beneath her.

Niobe's husband kills himself out of grief and upon seeing her entire family dead, Noibe begins to weep and weep, slowly turning into stone. A great hurricane sweeps her away from her kingdom up to the top of a mountain, where her stone self is to this day. Still weeping. The rock can be seen on a mountain top in Turkey.

I also found a youtube video (music composed for Ovid's story of Niobe):

painting source:

photo source:

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