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.
the mythology to a given local setting 24. Is there any evidence that the city of Hierapolis, with its famous Plutonium, was also associated with the Demeter-Persephone mythology? We turn now to consider the numismatic evidence which appears to support precisely such an association.
II. The Depiction of the Abduction of Persephone by Hades on Coinage from Hierapolis
Given that the story of the abduction of Persephone has such a prominent place within the mythology of the ancient world, artistic representations of the scene are to be expected. One of the most striking of these is to be found on a red-figure krater which is within the British Museum collection. This superb piece of Apulian pottery, which stands 2 feet 9½ inches high, is dated to circa 360-350 BCE. The central figures depicted on the vase are Persephone and Hades, speeding away in a chariot drawn by a team of four horses. The bearded Pluto looks admiringly at his captured prize Persephone, who is dressed in bridal gear and veil, avoiding his gaze and looking down demurely. To the right is the figure of Hecate, leading the way to the underworld with a four-flamed torch; to the left, behind the chariot, we see a depiction of the god Hermes wearing his familiar helmet and winged shoes (Figure #1) 25. This basic depiction of the abduction of Persephone by Hades is very stylized and is an image frequently repeated in Graeco-Roman art. It also serves as the basic pattern for the coin issues which form our main concern within this study.
A number of coins from Hierapolis contain subject matter associated with the cult of the mother-goddess Demeter, or Cybele, as she was perhaps better known in the region of Phrygia 26.