Please expound and simplify the semantic progression behind "reduce"?
I don't understand the "semantic progression" that I emboldened below. The steps in the "semantic progression" feel too farfetched and unconnected. Can someone please fill in, and expound, the steps in Simple English?
‘Lessen, diminish’ is a comparatively recent semantic development for reduce. Its Latin ancestor was certainly not used in that sense. This was redūcere, a compound verb formed from the prefix re- ‘back, again’ and dūcere ‘lead, bring’ (source of English duct, duke, educate, etc). It meant literally ‘bring back’, hence ‘restore’ and also ‘withdraw’. The original ‘bring back’ made the journey to English, and even survived into the early 17th century (‘reducing often to my memory the conceit of that Roman stoic’, Sir Henry Wotton, Elements of Architecture 1624). The sense ‘lessen, diminish’ seems to be the result of a semantic progression from [1.] ‘bring back to a particular condition’ via [2.] ‘bring back to order’ and [3.] ‘bring to subjection’.
Word Origins (2005 2e) by John Ayto. p 417 Right column.