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"sociologically, that is to say by reference to institutional criteria, a public sphere in the sense of a separate realm distinguished from the private sphere cannot be show to have existed in the fuedal society of the high middle ages. nevertheless it was no accident that the attributes of lordship, such as the ducal seal, were called "public"; not by accident did the english king enjoy "publicness"--for lordship was something publicly represented. this publicness (or publicity) of representation was not constituted as a social realm, that is, as a public sphere; rather, it was something like a status attribute, if this term may be permitted.'

page 7, the habermas book.