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It is well known that on any compact Riemannian symmetric space $X$, the eigenvalues of the Laplacian have very high multiplicity (comparable with the Weyl bound), and the resulting actions $\operatorname{Isom}(X)\to \operatorname{SO}(W_\lambda)$ for eigenspaces $W_\lambda$ give many representations of the Lie group $\operatorname{Isom}(X)$.

Suppose one has an unknown compact Riemannian manifold $X$ ($n=\dim X$), but where the eigenspaces of the Laplacian have large dimension (I don't have a precise definition of "large" here; the weakest definition would probably be something like $\dim W_\lambda>1$ for infinitely many $\lambda$. I'd be happy even with a much stronger assumption, say $\dim W_\lambda$ is at least $\epsilon$ times the Weyl bound $\operatorname{const}\cdot\lambda^{(n-1)/2}$ infinitely often). Can one conclude that $X$ is a symmetric space, or close to one in some sense?

EDIT: I would be interested in any result which takes as a hypothesis some assumption of large multiplicity in the Laplace spectrum, and whose conclusion is some sort of symmetry of the underlying manifold.

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High multiplicity eigenvalue implies symmetry?

It is well known that on any compact Riemannian symmetric space $X$, the eigenvalues of the Laplacian have very high multiplicity (comparable with the Weyl bound), and the resulting actions $\operatorname{Isom}(X)\to \operatorname{SO}(W_\lambda)$ for eigenspaces $W_\lambda$ give many representations of the Lie group $\operatorname{Isom}(X)$.

Suppose one has an unknown compact Riemannian manifold $X$ ($n=\dim X$), but where the eigenspaces of the Laplacian have large dimension (I don't have a precise definition of "large" here; the weakest definition would probably be something like $\dim W_\lambda>1$ for infinitely many $\lambda$. I'd be happy even with a much stronger assumption, say $\dim W_\lambda$ is at least $\epsilon$ times the Weyl bound $\operatorname{const}\cdot\lambda^{(n-1)/2}$ infinitely often). Can one conclude that $X$ is a symmetric space, or close to one in some sense?