The point is, Niobe is bereft of the very things she was boasting about which lead to her ruin. And it gets worse.
Now this week’s episode:
According to Achilles… Wait.
Just wanted to say, ‘hey.’
Hector, oh you, get out of here.
Oh, god! Hey, Patroclus. I, I thought you would look different. We gotta go. We’re really sorry, Patroclus. You deserved something more.
According to Achilles in Book 24 of the Iliad, after Niobe’s children (all of them because Achilles doesn’t play) are slaughtered, everyone but Niobe is turned to stone. So for nine days her children lie unburied. And that’s a really big deal. (We’ll get to it. Later. Like, after this post later.) Niobe spends the time weeping because she’s so upset that her children are unburied and she’s understandably bummed out.
On the tenth day, the gods bury the slain. Achilles, like a good Southern woman, makes sure to mention that Niobe should get something to eat. And then she’s turned into a stone that continues to weep.
And since she’s now a stone, she probably can’t eat anything.
And then Ovid has something to say.
After he tells the tale in Book Six of the Metamorphoses, he says that everyone cries for the kids and everyone cries for the kids’ father and that no one cries for Niobe except her brother, Pelops, the one Demeter accidentally ate a piece of. So, that’s sad.
We see Artemis wreck havoc again in the life of another pitiful mortal! Bwahahaha.
Megan Miller is a classicist with a bent toward the macabre. She received her master’s from Oxford, but now tells as many monster stories as she can to the students in her university courses. To read more Ancient Correspondence, click here.