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In one of my questions of converting direct to indirect speech

According to St. Patrick all the snakes were driven out of Ireland, and they swam to England.

The answer was suggested as

St Patrick said, "All the snakes were driven out of Ireland, and they swam to England."

I have learnt that in case of a common truth the present tense from direct to indirect is retained. But in this case the common or popular truth of banishing the snakes is in past tense.Will we convert it back to present or not?
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This sentence seems to have changed a bit, Caesar. There was no St. Patrick in it the first time-- instead, you used Caesar, as I recall. St. Patrick was the guy that drove out the snakes, whereas Caesar was talking about the mythical past.

I would therefore change

According to St. Patrick all the snakes were driven out of Ireland, and they swam to England.

to

St. Patrick said, "All the snakes have been driven out of Ireland, and they have swum to England".

(You are right about general truths having the option of remaining in the present tense, but that does not seem to apply here, myth or not-- the snakes remain in the past; they are not still swimming to England.)
Comments  
Dear Caeser,

Here are examples:

St Patrick said "There are no snakes in Ireland."

St Patrick said that there are no snakes in Ireland.

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Goldmund