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Ancient Days(till 15th century)

There cannot be a specific date of birth for a language or literature. We can trace back history to find out the evidences and specimens related to the literature of any language.
As far as Assamese language is concerned, the Buddhist Charyapadas are often cited as the earliest example of it's literature. These are Buddhist songs composed in 8th-12th century. The phonological and morphological traits of these songs bear very strong resemblance to Assamese some of which are extant.

There were some works during the period 12th and 14th century which kept the literary tradition flowing after the Charyapada. They are Sunya Purana by Ramai Pandit,Sri Krishna Kirtana by Baru Chandi Das, Gopichandrar Gaan by Durllava Muilik etc.

After 14th century, the period is named as Pre-Vaishnavite era. During this period, one renowned Assamese writer was Hema Saraswati, who wrote a small story Prahrlada Charita and Hara-Gauri Charita. In the time of the King Indranarayana (1350-1365) of Kamatapur the two poets Harihara Vipra and Kaviratna Saraswati composed Asvamedha Parva and Jayadratha Vadha respectively. Another poet named Rudra Kandali translated Drona Parva into Assamese.
But the most well-known poet of the Pre-Vaishnavite era is Madhav Kandali, who rendered Valmiki's Ramayana into Assamese verse (Katha Ramayana, 14th century) under the patronage of Mahamanikya, a Kachari king of Jayantapura.

Medieval Days(16th till 19th century)

The golden period of medieval Assamese literature is the period of the neo-vaishnavite movement under under the leadership of Shankardeva(1449-1569).Shankardeva was a great sanskrit scholar,a poet, a composer, a painter, an actor, a dancer and a personality believed to be having superhuman qualities. His 27 various works of literature are gems of Assamese literaure. His work Bhakti Ratnakara was in sanskrit. He translated most of the important religious books of Hinduism from sanskrit to assamese. His most outstanding work of literature is Kirtana Ghosha which is a collection of various stories of Bhagvata Purana. The dramas written by him are known as Ankiya naat and the songs as Borgeet. One of his last work was Gunamala written at the request of King Nara Narayana.

The name of this golden era is Madhavdeva(1489-1596), chief disciple and follower of Shankardeva. He was a great artists by birth, a great poet, lyricist, composer. Shankardeva, Madhavdeva continued the Vaishnava movement in Assam and brought the Vaishnava art, literature more into the society. His most outstanding work is Nam Ghosha. His poetic brilliance is found in his Borgeet and Jhumura.

Other important literary work of this period are the prose chronicles (Buranji) of the Ahom court. The Ahoms had brought with them an instinct for historical writings. In the Ahom court, historical chronicles were at first composed in their original Tibeto-Chinese language, but when the Ahom rulers adopted Assamese as the court language, historical chronicles began to be written in Assamese. From the beginning of the seventeenth century onwards, court chronicles were written in large numbers. These chronicles or buranjis, as they were called by the Ahoms, broke away from the style of the religious writers. The language is essentially modern except for slight alterations in grammar and spelling.

Modern Days(post 19th century)

Effect of British rule
The British imposed Bengali in 1836 in Assam after the state was occupied in 1826. Due to a sustained campaign, Assamese was reinstated in 1875 as the state language. Since the initial printing and literary activity occurred in eastern Assam, the Eastern dialect was introduced in schools, courts and offices and soon came to be formally recognized as the Standard Assamese. In recent times, with the growth of Guwahati as the political and commercial center of Assam, the Standard Assamese has moved away from its roots in the Eastern dialect.

Influence of Missionaries
The modern Assamese period began with the publication of the Bible in Assamese prose by the American Baptist Missionaries in 1819. The currently prevalent standard Asamiya has its roots in the Sibsagar dialect of Eastern Assam. As mentioned in Bani Kanta Kakati's "Assamese, its Formation and Development" (1941, Published by Sree Khagendra Narayan Dutta Baruah, LBS Publications, G.N. Bordoloi Road, Gauhati-1, Assam, India) – " The Missionaries made Sibsagar in Eastern Assam the centre of their activities and used the dialect of Sibsagar for their literary purposes". The American Baptist Missionaries were the first to use this dialect in translating the Bible in 1813. These Missionaries established the first printing press in Sibsagar in 1836 and started using the local Asamiya dialect for writing purposes. In 1846 they started a monthly periodical called Arunodoi, and in 1848, Nathan Brown published the first book on Assamese Grammar. The Missionaries published the first Assamese-English Dictionary compiled by M. Bronson in 1867. One of the major contributions of the American Baptist Missionaries to the Assamese language is the reintroduction of Assamese as the official language in Assam. In 1848 missionary Nathan Brown published a treatise on the Assamese language[1]. This treatise gave a strong impetus towards reintroducing Assamese the official language in Assam. In his 1853 official report on the province of Assam, British official Moffat Mills wrote:

" ...the people complain, and in my opinion with much reason, of the substitution of Bengalee for the Vernacular Assamese. Bengalee is the language of the court, not of their popular books and shashtras, and there is a strong prejudice to its general use. …Assamese is described by Mr. Brown, the best scholar in the province, as a beautiful, simple language, differing in more respects from, than agreeing with, Bengalee, and I think we made a great mistake in directing that all business should be transacted in Bengalee, and that the Assamese must acquire it. It is too late now to retrace our steps, but I would strongly recommend Anandaram Phukan’s proposition to the favourable consideration of the Council of Education, viz., the substitution of the vernacular language in lieu of Bengalee, and completion of the course of the Vernacular education in Bengalee. I feel persuaded that a youth will, under this system of tuition, learn more in two than he now acquires in four years. An English youth is not taught in Latin until he is well grounded in English, and in the same manner, an Assamese should not be taught in a foreign language until he knows his own.."

Beginning of Modern Literature
The period of modern literature began with the publication the Assamese journal Jonaki (1889), which introduced the short story form first by Laxminath Bezbarua. Thus began the Jonaki period of Assamese literature. In 1894 Rajanikanta Bordoloi published the first Assamese novel Mirijiyori. The modern Assamese literature has been enriched by the works of Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla, Hem Barua, Atul Chandra Hazarika, Nalini Bala Devi, Navakanta Barua, and others.

In 1917 the Oxom Xahityo Xobha was formed as a guardian of the Assamese society and the forum for the development of Assamese language and literature. Padmanath Gohain Baruah was the first president of the society.

Courtesy : Wikipedia, An article by Nagen Saikia - "Medieval Assamese Literature"