Those engaged in Scandinavian ballad research are in agreement that chey reckon with an East-Scandinavian and a West-Scandinavian region. Caracteristic of the West-Scandinavian region are the heroic and troll ballads. The situation in Iceland is unique, so that for the most part the West-Scandinavian region comprises the Faroe Islands and Norway. In this case, which was the center for the composition of heroic and troll ballads, the Faroe Islands or Norway? There are two opposing opinions here, the one represented by Knut Liestøl, Sverker Ek, and H. Griiner-Nielsen. They maintained that Norway was the most important area, wíth Bergen as the center of diffusion, and that a large number of the heroic and troll ballads spread from there to the Faroes. In opposition was the view of E. von der Reoke, that the West-Scandinavian ballads had their center in the Faroes.
In recent years new material has appeared, which seems to cast new Hght on the Faroese-Norwegian relationship. This is a systematic catalog of the ballad compositions in the Sohandinavian languages, prepared by Dr. Bengt Jonsson of the Svenskt Visarkiv and the author. Here the ballads are arranged in categories according to the traditional scheme: ballads concerning nature myths, ballads concerning legends, and so on. When it comes to the typical West-Scandinavian categories, the heroic
and troll ballads, the catalog shows strong Faroese dominance. It is so unamhiguous and so convincing, that there is reason to maintain the applicability of E. von der Recke's theory that the Faroe Islands were the most important area within the West-Scandinavian region.
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