Before the erudition of Cerberus, the concept of epistemic modality (EM) had passed me by. Now, I have a Q on this topic. North & Hillard Ex. 216: "Whether the enemy were dismayed at so strange a sight, or whether the gods preserved him on account of his extraordinary valour, it is certain that no man ever accomplished such marvellous deeds."
The Answer Book gives: "seu tan miro spectaculo hostes attoniti sunt, seu ipsi dei ob egregiam virtutem eum servaverunt, constat neminem unquam tam mirifica praestitisse."
The prodigious achievements of this young man challenge an accepted world picture of human fragility; therefore, a case of EM, producing the indirect "praestitisse". My Q: is this a case of EM? The following sentence may be adding to the confusion concerning an old friend (indirect speech): "It is said that after the battle the Ephori decreed him a crown for his valour, but fined him a thousand drachmae for having exposed himself to so great a danger without arms." Considered putting the verbs into the past-perfect until "it-is-said-that" registered: this, equivalent to "he-said-that-they" (indirect speech); so, wrote it as indirect.
Answer Book gives: "proelio autem confecto Ephori, ut ferunt, virtutis causa coronam ei decreverunt, quod tamen inermis tanto periculo se obiecerat (obiecisset), mille drachmae eum mulctavere."
Great! So, why is this not a case of indirect speech?
To further confuse things: N & H Ex 213, Q7: "For some time it was asserted that all our best troops were lost."
Answer: "aliquamdiu affirmatam est optimum quemque nostrorum militum perisse."
So "it-is-said-that" does not generate indirect speech; but, "it-was-asserted-that" does. Please explain.