A fresco of Herculaneum showing women playing knucklebones, depicting Phoebe, Leto, Niobe, Hilearia, and Agle, painted and signed by an artist named "Alexander of Athens", 1st century AD, now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples)
Phoebe is a Titaness whose consort was her brother Coeus, with whom she had two daughters, Leto, who bore Apollo and Artemis, and Asteria, a star-goddess who bore an only daughter, Hecate. Given the meaning of her name and her association with the Delphic oracle, Phoebe was perhaps seen as the Titan goddess of prophecy and oracular intellect.
Through Leto, Phoebe was the grandmother of Apollo and Artemis. The names Phoebe and Phoebus (masculine) came to be applied as synonyms for Artemis and Apollo respectively (as well as for Selene and Helios).
According to a speech, that Aeschylus in The Eumenides puts in the mouth of the Delphic priestess herself, Phoebe received control of the Oracle at Delphi from Themis: "Phoebe in this succession seems to be his private invention," D. S. Robertson noted, reasoning that in the three great allotments of oracular powers at Delphi, corresponding to the three generations of the gods, "Ouranos, as was fitting, gave the oracle to his wife Gaia and Kronos appropriately allotted it to his sister Themis." In Zeus' turn to make the gift, Robertson speculates, Aeschylus could not report that the oracle was given directly to Apollo, who had not yet been born, and thus Phoebe was interposed. These supposed male delegations of the powers at Delphi as expressed by Aeschylus are not borne out by the usual modern reconstruction of the sacred site's pre-Olympian history.