Jan Gruter was Dutch on his father's side and English on his mother's, and was born at Antwerp. To avoid religious persecution from Spanish forces in the early stages of the Eighty Years' War, his parents emigarated to England while he was a child. For some years he studied at Caius College, Cambridge, after which he went to Leiden, where he graduated with an M.A.
In 1586, Gruter was appointed professor of history at the University of Wittenberg, but, as he refused to subscribe the formula concordiae, he lost his position. From 1589 to 1592, he taught at Rostock, after which he went to Heidelberg, where in 1602 he was appointed librarian to the university. He died at Bierhelderhof, Heidelberg.
^In full Inscriptiones antiquae totius orbis romani, in absolutissimum corpus redactae, "Ancient inscriptions of the entire Roman world, edited in the most complete assemblage".
^In full Lampas, sive fax artium liberalium hoc est, thesaurus criticus, in quo infinitis locis theologorum, jurisconsultorum, medicorum etc., scripta supplentur, "A lamp, or torchlight of the liberal arts, in which is offered a critical thesaurus, of infinite examples drawn from theologists, legal experts, doctors, etc."