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Moretus was born in Antwerp and married the second daughter of the publisher Christoffel Plantin in 1570. He had been working for Plantin since 1557 and, after Plantin's death, Jan Moretus would become the owner of the printing company. Under his management, the company focused on 12mo format for text books, doing away with the smaller handbook (enhiridion) favored under his predecessor.
Some of the notable projects published by Moretus include Benito Arias Montano's Anima, an eight-book series detailing the history of humanity from the Creation through its regeneration with Christ's birth. He has also collaborated with theologians in the publication of religious texts. For example, he worked with the Flemish scholar Henricus Sedulius during the publication of Bonaventure's The Life of St. Francis (De vita s. patris Francisci).
Moretus' works and archives are held in the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp.
- Dirk Imhof, Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plantin Press 2 vols (Leiden, 2014), vol. 1, p. xxxv
- "Drafts of Letters Sent by Various Members of the Plantin-Moretus Family, 1597–1617". Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room. World Digital Library. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- Rospocher, Massimo; Salman, Jeroen; Salmi, Hannu (2019). Crossing Borders, Crossing Cultures: Popular Print in Europe (1450–1900). Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 100. ISBN 978-3-11-064354-1.
- Portuondo, María M. (2019). The Spanish Disquiet: The Biblical Natural Philosophy of Benito Arias Montano. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-226-60909-6.
- GTU, BJRT (2016). Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology, Vol.2, No. 2. Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-365-17158-1.
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