Even before the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in central South America, the Inca had begun to suffer from the European arrival in the New World, for the Europeans brought diseases with them that peoples in the Americas had no immunity to.

Is it wrong if I use  'themselves' instead of them?

I thought 'them' means Europeans.   Who or what is the 'them'?

Original Post

Hi, Sly,

Yes, "them" refers to "the Europeans."

With the verb "bring," we don't use reflexive pronouns after the preposition "with" even if they always refer to the subject, so the sentence is correct as quoted:

- The Europeans brought diseases with them.

The reflexive pronoun can only be used emphatically after the object:

- How come you don't find the bottle? I brought it myself! It has to be somewhere.

The reflexive indicates that the action affects or reverts to the subject.

That's not the case with "bring sth with you." From the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:

bring somebody/something with you
For some reason, Jesse had brought a tape recorder with him.

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