A little note for E. J. Kenney, who is otherwise to be commended for his long review of the new Teubner Ovid. If only all BMCR reviewers were as careful and thorough. He states in the review,
6.21 Pliny presumably had ancient authority for the belief that emeralds are brittle, and it is in character for Ovid to prefer the mildly recherché fragiles to the banal virides. That the belief was erroneous is neither here nor there:
Pliny and Ovid are correct. Emeralds are hopelessly brittle and when worn in rings are always breaking and falling out of their mounts. Anyone with first-hand experience of emeralds (like my wife) would indeed call them fragiles before virides, because that quickly becomes their dominant characteristic.
[[For a response to this response by E.J. Kenney, please see BMCR 2004.02.45.]]