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Chapter Summary

The single most important aspect of any public-sphere formation is the extent to which it instigates the 'logic of public debate'. While all mid-period writers were responding to historical incidents and consequently approached the public debate in terms of a polemical problem, the late-period writers were more deeply engaged in reconceptualising this polemical problem as a theoretical problem. The public debate in the mid- and late periods was most likely approaching the limit of what was possible within a manuscript culture in the process of recovering after the dark period of the late ninth and tenth centuries. It should be apparent by now that regardless of whether the Investiture Contest is labelled a revolution or not, the development of the first public debate in medieval Europe was of epochal significance.

Keywords: Investiture Contest; manuscript culture; public debate



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