(Great Characters in Literature)

Hajji Baba

Hajji Baba, the son of a barber of Ispahan, who learns his father’s trade and many Persian tales and quotations. He becomes an early nineteenth century Persian picaro whose training in thievery and trickery eventually prepares him admirably for a career in diplomatic intrigue at the Shah’s court.

Osman Agha

Osman Agha, a wealthy Turkish merchant who invites Hajji to entertain him on a buying trip to Meshed. They are captured by Turcoman robbers. Later they combine in a profitable enterprise in Constantinople.

Dervish Sefer

Dervish Sefer, who buys Hajji’s adulterated tobacco, then admiringly invites him to become a dervish. Before he can do so, however, Hajji is arrested and beaten until unconscious for selling adulterated tobacco.

The Court Physician

The Court Physician, who is persuaded by stolen credentials to give Hajji a position of confidence.


Zeenab, a slave of the physician who gives her favors to Hajji and is condemned to death when the Shah discovers she is pregnant.

Mollah Bashi

Mollah Bashi, whose accidental drowning gives Hajji a chance to put on the priest’s clothing and collect money owed to the priest.

Mollah Nadan

Mollah Nadan, a priest who gets Hajji’s help in an illegal marriage market. When he forces Hajji to give him the clothes stolen from the dead Mollah Bashi, he is himself accused of Bashi’s murder.