Chrysippus (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, Chrysippus (Greek: Χρύσιππος) was a divine hero of Elis in the Peloponnesus, the bastard son of Pelops king of Pisa in the Peloponnesus and the nymph Axioche[1] or Danais.[2] He was kidnapped by the Theban Laius, his tutor, who was escorting him to the Nemean Games, where the boy planned to compete. Instead, Laius ran away with him to Thebes and raped him, a crime for which he, his city, and his family were later punished by the gods.

Chrysippus's death was related in various ways. One author who cites Peisandros as his source claims that he killed himself with his sword out of shame.[3] Hellanicus of Lesbos and Thucydides write that he was killed out of jealousy by Atreus and Thyestes, his half-brothers, who cast him into a well.

The death of Chrysippus is sometimes seen as springing from the curse that Myrtilus placed on Pelops for his betrayal, as Pelops threw him from a cliff after he helped Pelops win a race.

Euripides wrote a play called Chrysippus whose plot covered Chrysippus' death. The play is now lost. The play was given in the same trilogy that included The Phoenician Women.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scholia on Euripides, Orestes, 4; on Pindar, Olympian Ode, 1. 144
  2. ^ Pseudo-Plutarch, Greek and Roman Parallel Stories, 33
  3. ^ Gantz, p. 489.

Vase E 65 in London, showing Chrysippus and Zeuxo

Modern sources[edit]

  • Gantz, Timothy (1993). Early Greek Myth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  • Kerenyi, Karl (1959). The Heroes of the Greeks. New York/London: Thames and Hudson.