Who are the people of today that would have been the conquerors of yesterday? Are they today’s generals and admirals? It seems like the safe bet. However, to be a “great” far back into the past required having something over everybody else, most of the time that was land and with land comes power. Back then if you wanted land you most likely had to acquire it through not so passive measures. Conquering is probably the least passive activity there is. That said, since conquering was many times the only viable way to acquire status and be a ruler of sorts many great men throughout history had to resort to a militaristic life. Not always because they wanted to, but because they had to in order to get what they wanted. So maybe they wouldn’t be the generals and admirals of today.
If I had to answer who are the people of today that would have been conquerors of yesterday, I would have to say it would be CEO’s and billionaires. They get their conquests through mergers and hostile take overs and rule their respective companies the way they see fit. What do you think internet?