‘Origins of symmetry’ investigates the discovery of symmetry. Symmetry was recognized for millennia before it was mathematically defined. Mathematicians believed that the only obstacle to solving equations of high degrees was their complexity. However, by the eighteenth century this belief was being questioned. Évariste Galois' discovery of groups became central to modern mathematics. They also unify several complex strands of complex analysis. The field of topology introduced fundamental groups, and can be used to study knots. This richness of sources originally obfuscated the underlying simplicity of the group concept, and the current definition has evolved from many related variants.