(I) Direct Discourse (Oratio Recta).—In a direct quotation the words or thoughts quoted are given at first hand in the exact form used by the original speaker or thinker.
Μεγαρέες ἔπεμπον ἐπὶ τοὺς στρατηγοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων κήρυ_κα, ἀπικόμενος δὲ ὁ κῆρυξ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἔλεγε τάδε· “Μεγαρέες λέγουσι· ‘ἡμεῖς, ἄνδρες σύμμαχοι, οὐ δυνατοί εἰμεν τὴν Περσέων ἵππον δέκεσθαι μοῦνοι’” the Megarians sent a herald to the generals of the Greeks, and on his arrival the herald spoke as follows: “The Megarians say: ‘we, oh allies, are not able to sustain the attack of the Persian cavalry by ourselves’”
a. Direct quotation may, in prose, be introduced by ὅτι, which has the value of quotation marks. Thus, οἱ δὲ εἶπον ὅτι ἱκανοί ἐσμεν
Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].