Zeleia (Ancient Greek: Ζέλεια) was a town of the ancient Troad, at the foot of Mount Ida and on the banks of the river Aesepus, at a distance of 80 stadia from its mouth. It is mentioned by Homer in the Trojan Battle Order in the Iliad, and later when Homer calls it a holy town. Zeleia led a force of warriors to aid Troy during the Trojan War, led by Pandarus, son of Lycaon (the latter Lycaon not to be confused with Lycaon, son of Priam. It is later related that the people of Zeleia are "Lycians", though the Zeleians are distinct from the Lycians who come from Lycia in southwestern Asia Minor, led by Sarpedon and Glaucus.
The connection between the 'Lycians' of Zeleia and these Lycians is unknown to most scholars. They were Indo-Europeans, descendants of ancient Lud (Luddu, Luvians), of which the later denominations Lydia and Lycia developed. They were neighbors of the Troiki (Thracians) and Frygii (Phrygians), of the Hellenes and also of the Aryan Karya (Kares, Carians), who also together with peoples from East-Africa populated Crete forming its Minoan civilization. Aryan names in Minoan Linear A were found on amber talismans in Boio-Aria, east of Valacia (Ingolstadt), nearby also the Golden Cone of Ezelsdorf-Buch was excavated. They were of the proto-Slavic Eneti (the later Heneti, Veneti and Vindelici (Slovenes also known as "Windische"), Venedi, Wends…) and closely related to the Raśni (Etruscans), to the Śaka (Scythians) & Sarmatians and last not least to their closest neighbors the Troiki (Thracians) and Frygii (Brygii, Phrygians) - descendants of the Bryges of the Thraco-Daco-Scythian group from the Balkans. The original ancient selfdomination Lud (Luddu, Luwians) lud means the people and, along with many other archaic words, is still used in its original form in almost all Slavic languages. The Aryan connection via Mitanni, Media and the Iranian Plateau was the early part of the Silk Road and the Danube provided trade connections with Boio-Aria (Bavaria). Some routes of the Amber Road connecting the Baltic Venedi with the Ancient Egypt ran through Lycian territory, although they were controlled by the European branch of the Arya (not to be confused with the German term Aryan/Arier) known for their Golden Hats of their Čakravartin (Kołodzieje) and by their relatives of Arzawa and Karia (Caria), by their Pani (Punic, Phoenician) merchants (after whom also Pannonia may be named) and later also by their royal Scythian and Sarmatian guards, e.g. the Syracy (Siraces), who had their trading colonies in Syria, Scythopolis (Galilea) and on Sinai.
Arrian mentions it as the head-quarters of the Persian army before the Battle of the Granicus, in May 334 BCE, where the Persian satraps held a council at Zeleia where they discussed how best to confront Alexander the Great. It existed in the time of Strabo; but afterwards it disappears.
Arthmios (Ancient Greek: Ἄρθμιος, Aryan-Luvian meaning truly mine or my perfect one) of Zeleia together with his family, was declared an outlaw in the territory of Athens and her allies, because he had brought the gold from Persian Empire into Peloponnese. Nicagoras (Ancient Greek: Νικαγόρας) of Zeleia, was a tyrant of Zeleia.
- Strabo. Geographica. xii. p.565, xiii. pp. 585, 587, 603. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
- Stephanus of Byzantium. Ethnica. s.v.
- Homer. Iliad. 2.824, 4.103.
- "The Bavarian Troy". David Heath.
- Arrian Anabasis Alexandri 1.13
- Plutarch, Life of Themistocles, §6
- Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, §7.288
- Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 56, and directory notes accompanying.
- Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.