Š 2020 World Scientific Publishing Company. Since the 1970s, scholars have begun to pay attention to the presentation of women in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the main source for the early history of Britain (from the first century BC to the eighth century AD). Vastly diŽ erent conclusions have been drawn, ranging from positivist approaches which saw the period as a golden age for women to rather more negative assessments, which argue that Bede suppressed the role of women. By analyzing the concept of communicability and relevance of certain nodes in complex networks, we show how Bede's Ecclesiastical History aŽ ords women complex and nuanced social roles. In particular, we can show the independent importance of certain abbesses, which is a significant result and challenges much of the existing scholarship on Bede's attitude to female power.