The Roman way has always been prided on its organization and efficiency. In fact, when Romans compared themselves to the Ancient Greeks, they considered themselves superior only in the arts of war and government.
Antiquity recognized only three different types of authority: magistrate, military and master of the household. All rights of jurisdiction stemmed from one of these areas. Magistrates were at first in charge of the many cities within the empire. The Romans themselves cared very little, about how others lived their life. Only matters regarding disputes and collection of goods did the Romans concern themselves with. This left a large amount of self-government to the local people and it is probably why so many areas retained their own forms of government. During the later empire, the number of civil posts began to increase dramatically. Even to a point where the civil service infrastructure was as great as modern day governments.
Full-time, well-paid Roman soldiers had duties other than merely fighting. The Empire was based on military rule. The soldiers had within this system a variety of jobs and tasks. These duties would roughly coincide with modern day postal, health, construction as well as tax collecting. With so many tasks, the soldiers themselves became significant forms of authority to the empire.
The oldest male in a household had absolute power over all the other family members. Thus, all legal disputes and rights had to include the man of the house.