Larry J. Kreitzer, «The Plutonium of Hierapolis and the Descent of Christ into the 'Lowermost Parts of the Earth' (Ephesians 4,9)», Vol. 79 (1998) 381-393
After a general discussion of the myth regarding Demeter, Persephone and Hades/Pluto, the author discusses, in the light of coins of the early Neronian period (54-59 AD), the likelihood that the Plutonium of Hierapolis is the geographical spot the author wants his readers to imagine when they read in the Letter to the Colossians that Christ entered the lowermost parts of the earth.
Persephone is an agricultural myth in which the cycle of the seasons and crop production are symbolically represented 10. Persephone lives and rules as Hades queen in the underworld for four months out of the year, corresponding to the barren winter months 11; in the spring she returns to her mother Demeter in the world above, thereby assuring the annual growth of crops and the fruitfulness of life. In this sense, the cosmology surrounding the Demeter/Persephone myth is central to the drama that is enacted in their story 12. Although the Homeric Hymn to Demeter describes Hades ascent from the underworld and his abduction of Persephone as taking place on the plains of Nysia, it does not mention the place at which he descends back to the underworld with his newly captured prize. A number of geographical sites are identified within the