Chrysippus 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. Hellanicus of Lesbos and Thucydides writes 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.