They say that Niobe was a living woman who turned into a stone on the tomb of her children. Whoever believes that a stone can come from a person or a person from a stone is a simpleton.
The truth of the matter is this. After Niobe's children died, someone made a stone statue of her and set it up on the tomb. So those who passed by would say, "A stone Niobe stands on the tomb. We saw her." In the same way these days we say, "I was sitting next to the bronze Heracles," or "when I was by the marble Hermes." That was the sort of thing that happened, but Niobe herself did not become stone.
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