Which of these was a precursor to the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology?
Apothecary is one term for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons, and patients. The modern pharmacist (also colloquially referred to as a chemist in British English) has taken over this role. In some languages and regions, the word "apothecary" is still used to refer to a retail pharmacy or a pharmacist who owns one. Apothecaries' investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients was a precursor to the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology.
In addition to dispensing herbs and medicine, the apothecary offered general medical advice and a range of services that are now performed by other specialist practitioners, such as surgeons and obstetricians. Apothecary shops sold ingredients and the medicines they prepared wholesale to other medical practitioners, as well as dispensing them to patients. In the seventeenth century England, they also controlled the trade of tobacco which was imported as a medicine.
Apothecary, as a profession, could date back to 2600 BCE to ancient Babylon, which provides one of the earliest records of the practice of the apothecary. Clay tablets were found with medical texts recording symptoms, the prescriptions, and the directions for compounding it.