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.
mythological tradition as the place of the descent back to the realm of Hades 13. The place most frequently mentioned in this regard is Eleusis in Attica, no doubt as a result of the close association with Demeter and the Eleusinian mysteries which had been celebrated there for centuries. A good example of this is the Orphic Hymn to Pluto (18:11-15):
o#j ktate/eij qnhtw=n qana/tou xa/rin, w] polude/gmwn
Eu3boul0, a0gnopo/lou Dhmh/teroj o3j pote pai=da
numfeu/saj leimw=noj pospadi/hn dia\ po/ntou
tetpw/roij i3ppoisin u9p 0 Atqi/doj h1gagej a1ntron
dh/mou 0Eleusi=noj, to/qi per pu/lai ei1s 0 0Ai/dao.
All-Receiver, with death at your command, you are master of mortals;
Euboulos, you once took pure Demeters daughter as your bride
when you tore her away from the meadow and through the sea
upon your steeds you carried her to an Attic cave,
in the district of Eleusis, where the gates to Hades are 14.
Similarly, the second-century CE travel-writer Pausanias describes Eleusis as the place where Hades/Pluto descended to the underworld after he had carried off the virgin Persephone 15. The identification of Eleusis as the site of Hades return to the realm of the dead is supported by the presence of a subterranean passage near