In Greek mythology Niobe is the daughter of Tantalus, the king of Sipylus. She was also the wife of King Amphion of Thebes. According to Homer’s Iliad, she had six sons and six daughters. In the myth Niobe had bragged that having fourteen children made her a better mother than Leto. Unknown to Niobe Leto's children are the Greek Gods Artemis and Apollo. As punishment for her pride, Apollo and Artemis would get revenge from her boasting by killing all of Niobe's children. Apollo killed all of Niobe’s sons, and Artemis killed all of her daughters. Niobe was so upset that she went to the top of a mountain and cried until she turned to stone.
The story of Niobe illustrates the humanness of the Greek Pantheon's emotional qualities. The gods are quick to take vengeance on human pride. Niobe in a way than became the prototype of the grieving mother, mourning the loss of her children.